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Byline: Frinston Lim, Maco, Compostela Valley
EVEN IN the throes of death, farmer Noel Paquingan had been thinking of his wife and their only son.
He told those who brought him to the hospital to look after us, Paquingans wife, Mercedita, recalled.
Paquingan, 56, died from shrapnel wounds following a land mine blast that hit a military truck in Purok 6, Barangay Libay-libay in Maco, Compostela Valley, on Feb. 13.
He was one of the three civilians killed when an improvised bomb believed to be planted by New Peoples Army (NPA) rebels went off by the roadside. Four others, including two soldiers, were wounded.
What Mercedita, 51, remembered that fateful day was that her husband was among several men from their village of Dumlan who volunteered to join a meeting called by the military in Maco town proper.
The gathering, he had told her the night before, was for the residents to organize the BDS or barangay defense system, a civilian volunteer defense group akin to village guards or tanod.
She was apprehensive of his joining the meeting and the BDS. Mercedita told Noel that it would only interfere with work in their two-hectare farm near Dumlans boundary with Libay-libay.
I had also heard about people being killed for joining the BDS in Digos (Davao del Sur) and Calinan (in Davao City). I told him that I was afraid he might meet the same …