Bacnotan, La Union — Despite the death in battle in Basilan of 2nd Lt. Jun G. Corpuz, 22, nothing else drives his younger brother 17-year-old Christian Corpuz to join the military but to follow in his footsteps.
2Lt. Corpuz, a fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), was among the six soldiers killed in Sunday’s clash with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan.
Surprisingly, his biggest fan – the brother he called “Ian” – was unfazed by what had happened to him and even wants to enter the military.
“He was the breadwinner of the family,” recalled Ian. “Even when he was in the (military) academy, he was the one supported my financial needs for school aside from giving me advice.”
Before that (the clash in Basilan) happened, Ian said, 2Lt. Corpuz was in a cheerful mood with friends and family in Barangay Cabaraoan, this town, last March. They were celebrating his graduation, Ian recalled.
“He’s a jolly person; happy to be around with; and he’s open to all things. He’s not a snob as a sibling and he advised me to enter the PMA and be a soldier like him,” said Ian, the youngest of eight children of spouses Cresencio and Elizabeth Corpuz.
The fourth in the family, 2nd Lt. Corpuz was a B.S. Engineering student at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University North La Union Campus when he entered the PMA, Ian said.
“Next year, I’ll join the PMA. I’ll be taking the examination for next year’s batch,” he said.
A FATHER’S GRIEF
Cresencio, a construction worker, is still in shock after learning of his son’s death through Facebook last Sunday morning.
“At first, we didn’t believe the expression of sympathy and the death of my son, through Facebook. But we confirmed his fate when an army official called us up,” he said.
Cresencio said his son is as a role model, but stopped short of commenting on his other son’s desire to follow in 2nd Lt. Corpuz’s footsteps.
Lawyer Benjamin Sapitula, the president of the Don Mariano Marcos State University (DMMMSU), led the teachers and students from the school in expressing their deepest sympathy to the bereaved family of 2nd Lt. Corpuz.
Sapitula said Lt. Corpuz was lastly visited their school upon graduation from the PMA last March, 2014.
“After his graduation from PMA, he visited our school to thank his teachers for achieving his dream to become an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” Sapitula said.
“We are very much saddened as we lost a good soldier and a soon to be good leader of the nation,” he added.