It takes a noble heart to serve others without expecting something in return. But to sacrifice one’s life for the sake of other people is something beyond compare. It transcends nobility, it is something beyond the ordinary, a strong commitment founded on a virtuous principle from which only real heroes exist.
Residents of the Municipality of Gandara in the Province of Samar were happy when a group of police officers stayed in their community to conduct a Humanitarian activity to provide assistance for the residents.
The 804th Maneuver Company of Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8, together with the 2nd Eastern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company led by Police Lieutenant Mark Mhon T. Amistoso, composed the PNP humanitarian team. Early in the morning of July 16, 2022, the PNP team decided to conduct simultaneous activities in San Nicolas, San Jose de Buan, and Barangay Mabuhay, all situated in Gandara.
But while the team was on their way to deliver the humanitarian assistance, their hopeful spirit and positive outlook were suddenly changed to shock and terror as unknown enemies from everywhere started to open fire.
Approximately ten members of the Communist Terrorist Groups the Communist Party of the Philippines-National People’s Army- National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) were posed to ambush the humanitarian team. Left with no choice, the team resorted to defend themselves, consciously holding their ground and started to fire back. The exchange of fire lasted for almost five minutes.
The CTGs, upon realizing that they were on a disadvantaged situation, and that the police officers have recovered from their surprise during the exchange of fire, they hastily retreated and fled towards the Northeast end of the encounter site.
But to the team’s dismay, Patrolman Mark F. Monge, from the 804th Maneuver Company was found injured and was seriously hit. His comrades tried to rush him to the nearest hospital but he unfortunately did not make it, giving his last breath.
Patrolman Mark F. Monge was a graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Criminology. He entered the service in September 2019 and was assigned to the 804th Maneuver Company at Barangay Urdaneta Lavezares in Northern Samar up to the time of his death.
In honor for his ultimate sacrifice to our country and fellowmen, Police Lieutenant General Jose Chiquito Malayo, Area Police Command (APC) Visayas Commander; together with Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac, Police Regional Office 8, Regional Director, visited his wake and posthumously awarded the Medalya ng Kadakilaan (PNP Medal of Heroism). Cash assistance was extended to the bereaved family.
To the enemy of the state, you must have felt successful in ending Patrolman Monge’s life. You have, however, started the blazing flame within the hearts of every Filipino, young and old, uniformed and civilian, rich and poor, to never give in and give up to be freed from the CTGs’ shackles. Peace-loving Filipinos find ways to put an end to evil and selfish desires.
The entire Philippines is mourning together with Monge’s families, friends and relatives. It is with a heavy heart, especially for the Philippine National Police, to lose one of its comrades in the performance of its duty. A snappiest salute to Patrolman Monge for truly living this line from our very own PNP Hymn: “Sa tungkuli’y aming karangalan. Ihandog nag-iisang buhay.”
Another young and brave soul offers his precious life for our beloved Motherland. Another hero sheds his blood in exchange for lasting peace we aspire for the future generations. Another warrior who sacrifices his warm flesh at the end so that others may avoid the cold nights of terror. On that very day, we lost another angel.
Patrolman Monge, you may be gone in our sight but your bravery, courage, and your unsurmountable contributions shall be honored and always be remembered!
Rest in Peace, Brother!