Ilocos folks mourn death of PMA topnotcher
By Freddie G. Lazaro
STO. DOMINGO, Ilocos Sur (September 11) -- Thousands Ilocano folks and officials thronged to the streets in the poblacion last Saturday for the arrival of Lt. Ariel Toledo's remains placed in a white casket that dropped by a helicopter from the Villamor Airbase in Manila.
Lt. Toledo's casket was escorted by the people who were saddened by his death last Wednesday evening at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center in V. Luna St., Quezon City after few months fighting a liver cancer.
People escorted the remains to the family residence in Barangay Pussuac this town for the wake to wait for his overseas Filipino workers (OFW) siblings.
Lt. Toledo, the valedictorian of the Mandirigmang Dangal ng Lahi (Mandala) Class of 2006 in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), became an icon to the people of Ilocos Sur for his achievement.
"We lost our idol, our hero, our illustrious son and a future general, who might help our town's progress in the future" Sto. Domingo town Mayor Floro "Butch" Tadena said.
"Toledo was a pride of Sto. Domingo," he added.
It was recalled that after his graduation on March 2006, Toledo was given a hero's welcome by thousands local folks on April 2, 2006 and was called as "the AFP chief of staff in 25 years" during the celebrations at the People's Coliseum in Sto. Domingo town.
After his graduation, he was assigned at the Philippine Air Force Public Information Office. Then, after three months of service, he was diagnosed with liver cancer and was confined at the AFP Medical Center.
Other than Toledo, illustrious sons of Sto. Domingo, past and present, who gained national prominence include the late post-war assemblyman Benito Soliven, his son, the late Max, former chairman of The Philippine Star; lawyer Dexter Tuallia, who placed 4th in the 2006 Bar examinations, former Congresman Salacnib Baterina, and Dr. Lauro B. Tacbas, the incumbent President of University of Northern Philippines (UNP) and among others. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]