The greatest and most unbearable pain for parents is to experience burying their children. For Eduardo and Teba Paquit, parents of Private First Class Ian Paquit, it was indeed traumatic and excruciating, even if their son was the youngest to receive the highest military honor, the Medal of Valor, for his gallantry in the 2013 Zamboanga siege.
An Automatic Rifleman for the Army’s Scout Ranger Regiment deployed in Zamboanga to battle the Moro National Liberation Front, Ian raced to ground zero in the wartorn Zamboanga streets and heroically shielded his fellow troopers by relentlessly firing at attacking snipers even if he was still recovering from a previous blast wound. But as Ian reloaded, a bullet hit his nape, leaving him critically wounded and in comatose for four days before he succumbed. He was 21.
With his heroism depicted and honored on the MMK episode “Medalya” last June 22, Ian personified selflessness, courage and love for country, Eduardo and Teba stressed in this interview with MMK host Charo Santos-Concio.
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They revealed how Ian was a family-centric and a kind-hearted person, who thought of joining the military as a way to help them make both ends meet. Although it was difficult for Teba to accept his son’s decision, she eventually supported it no matter how risky it may be.
And when Ian met his tragic fate, there were times they regretted the decision to allow him to become a soldier. But they realized and accepted that such was his calling and his destiny. Even if Ian’s life was cut short, it was still well-lived all in the service of his countrymen.
Thus, Eduardo and Teba encouraged all parents to understand and support their children in whatever path they choose, especially those who want to serve in the military. Their youngest son, Ironel, chose to follow his late brother’s footsteps and entered the Philippine Military Academy for its Class of 2023—a decision they wholeheartedly accepted.
Watch MMK’s full interview with Eduardo and Teba Paquit in this video.