Clinically dead Marine in ZC siege relates faith in God saved his life PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 November 2013 14:10

A 28-year old Philippine Marine trooper who was critically wounded at the height of the fierce fighting between government forces and MNLF rebels during the Zamboanga City crisis last September and pronounced by doctors as clinically dead, related for the first time on Friday how his faith in God saved him from the throes of death.

In an interview at his hospital bed at the AFP Medical Center 48 days after the bloody incident, Corporal Edgardo Jose, a member of the Philippine Marine Battalion 3, said fighting broke out at 1:45 in the morning of Sept. 14 in Barangay Sta. Catalina when he was hit on the side of his body with the bullet piercing his left lung.

“I immediately slumped to the ground unconscious without knowing what hit me,” Jose, who was the battalion’s machine gunner, said.

Private First Class A. Castillo, assistant machine gunner, took over.

“It was a close quarter fighting with only a few meters apart when I was hit. I was brought to the Mindanao Western Command hospital where doctors declared me dead,” Jose said.

“But somehow the doctors detected some sputtering heart beat of me that they said I was clinically dead and could die anytime,” he added.

Asked what he felt during the 48-hour that he was clinically dead, Jose said: “What I saw was an all-white around me but I heard murmuring noise like he’s dead but at the same time there was a voice somewhere in a void space prodding me just say God, Jesus Christ even if I could not see as I lay there and declared as clinically dead.”

“From the military hospital in Zamboanga, I was transferred to a private hospital, the Ciudad Medical Center where doctors” put some sharp object on my body but I could not move nor open my eyes,” Jose said.

“Blood continued to ooze from the left side of my body but I prayed in silence, God, please help me!” he said.

“I thought I would die and put my faith in God. The next thing I knew I’m still alive! Thank you, Lord!” Jose said with joy in his face.

A devout Catholic, the 28-year old Marine soldier said he and members of his unit prayed Psalm 91 before they went to battle that fateful day of Sept. 14.

Psalm 91 is the prayer of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) they pray every day in war or in peace.

His wife, Diane Rose, a born-again Christian, also prayed hard for her husband’s speedy recovery.

They were only married 10 months ago and have no sibling at the moment.

Incidentally, Jose said the Zamboanga siege was his first combat as a soldier and thanked God for saving his life.

The three-week Zamboanga crisis claimed some 200 lives, mostly rebels of the breakaway Moro National Liberation of the Nur Misuari faction, hundreds of others wounded, and thousands of houses destroyed during the fighting.