Feature: PMA class valedictorian brought to his resting place
By Freddie G. Lazaro
STO. DOMINGO, Ilocos Sur (September 19, 2007) - - - Thousands of residents including provincial officials attended the burial rites of the late Air Force Lt. Ariel Toledo in the Aglipayan Church's cemetery at Barangay Kamestizoan, Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur over the weekend.
The burial ceremony took place at around 11:30 Saturday morning. The deceased was given full military honor highlighted by a 21-gun salute by the soldiers from the Philippine Air Force.
Sto. Domingo town Mayor Floro "Butch" Tadena expressed sadness over the death of Toledo during the necrological service.
Lt. Toledo died at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center in V. Luna St., Quezon City after few months fighting a liver cancer.
"Ariel Toledo is our soldier, our hero, he always remain into the heart of the people of Sto. Domingo. Soldier not dies, he just fades away," Tadena said.
He said that Toledo was the first resident from Sto. Domingo town who became a class valedictorian of the country's premier military school, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
Provincial Board Member Orlino Tesoro presented a resolution enacted by the members of the provincial extending their condolences to the bereaved family.
In response, Beatriz Toledo Castro, older sister of Toledo, expressed his thanks to the national and local officials namely Governor Deogracias Victor "DV" B. Savellano, former Governor Luis Chavit Singson, Mayor Tadena for their all–out support and assistance when his brother was confined at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center in V. Luna St., Quezon City.
Margarette Encarnacion, Toledo's childhood sweetheart, was greatly saddened by the fate of Ariel. She said that they have wedding plans supposedly this November.
Air Force Captain Alex Aguado from the 600th Air Wing of the Philippine Air Force at Clark Airbase turned over the country's flag to the bereaved family.
Along with Tesoro, Provincial Board Members Ismael Baterina and Gerry Lahoz and former Congressman Salacnib Baterina were also present during the burial ceremony.
The mourners wore a hat with "We will miss you Ariel" statement. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]