It was supposed to be a well-deserved Sunday break from his construction works but all of a sudden, it was disturbed by a loud explosion followed by people rushing to the blast site
For ordinary people like 22-year old Erham Awaluddin who grew up in a conflict-torn area, the instinct is to stay away–the victims are soldiers and trouble may spark anytime.
But the will to help prevailed over Erham and a few seconds later, he found himself pulling out a first soldier that was caught in a burning debris.
“Sumama na ako sa mga sundalo (na rumesponde) kahit hindi ko na kilala. Wala na sa isip ko yun, gusto ko kasi tumulong sa mga tao (I joined the soldiers in responding to the injured even if I don’t kow them. I just want to help).” said Erham, a Tausug from Barangay Bangkal in Talipao town.
He then pulled out survivors after survivors from the crash site of the C-130 cargo plane, unmindful of the danger that lies with the burning plane debris – and a possibility of a larger explosion.
Along with Erham, government militiamen from the Bangkal Detachment and other civilian volunteers also raced to the crash site within minutes, each helping the best way they can to save as much victim as possible.
The 11th Infantry Division lauded Erham for his assistance to the soldiers.
“Erham’s bold actions to be of service to others exemplifies a Filipino soldier,” the 11th ID said in a statement after finding out that he has a pending application to be a soldier.
The 11th ID said that Erham clearly showed that regardless of race or religion, the willingness to help in times of need is an embodiment of what a Filipino is.
“Christians or Muslims, I will help all of them if needed,” said Erham.