‘He was a good man who shouldn’t have died too young’ Featured

‘He was a good man who shouldn’t have died too young’
John Romulo Garcia of Bohol is among the 13 soldiers killed in Malawi on Friday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

SAN MIGUEL, Bohol—Princess Garcia failed to stop her tears from flowing when talking about her brother, John Romulo Garcia, who died on Friday in Marawi City.

John, 28, and a member of Philippine Marine Corps, was among the 13 soldiers who were killed on Friday during the gun-battle with Maute militants in Marawi.

The news of her brother’s death was too painful for 19-year-old Princess.

She said they learned about what happened through Facebook postson Friday night.

They didn’t believe it at first until they received a call from John’s commanding officer.

Many had posted on Facebook that he had died. But we, his family, didn’t know about it. When we learned about it, we were very shocked,” she added.

After confirming his death, John’s parents, Sylvia and Romulo, immediately flew to Metro Manila on Saturday to retrieve their son’s body.

Condrada Relampagos-Caresosa, 76, was sobbing, saying her grandson was a good man who shouldn’t have died too young.

She said John was special to her since he was her first grandson.

Condrada Relampagos-Caresosa and Princess Garcia are waiting for the arrival of the body of Sgt. John Romulo Garcia who was killed in Marawi on Friday. -Leo Udtohan, INQ

Caresosa said she had to comfort her daughter, Sylvia, whose world came crashing down upon learning that her son was gone.

Although the tragedy was painful, Caresosa urged her family to accept God’s will.

Caresosa had already cleaned the Garcia’s house in Barangay Kagawasan, San Miguel, in time for John’s arrival.

Certificates of recognition and awards received by John including his two paintings were displayed in the living room.

Caresosa said they had expected John to come home since March.

But it was postponed because he was deployed to augment the security force in Manila for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation Summit.

His task was to guard the President of Vietnam.

John promised to come home but was instead deployed to Marawi when the fighting broke out on May 23.

The family’s fears came true when John’s Facebook page was filled with condolences from friends and neighbors.

At that time, they didn’t know that John was one of those killed in Marawi on Friday.

They received a confirmation later from John’s superior officer.

John was the eldest among five of his siblings.

He grew up in Bohol and had graduated from Central Visayas State College of Agriculture Forestry and Technology (now Bohol Island State University) before joining the Marines in 2012.

Caresosa said they discouraged John  from joining the Marines, but the passion to serve the country prevailed.

He chose to serve the country. There was nothing we could do to stop him,” she said.

Although it pained them that he was gone too soon, Princess said she was proud of her brother who died serving the country./rga


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