Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This incident happened during the time of President Cory Aquino. Thus, this untold story will come to light for the first time as a tribute to Tita Cory. The power of PEACE.

The intelligence I secured was very sensitive against the rebels -- their strategic military failure and depleted resources, the situational factors that pushed them to the bargaining table. Irrefutably, it was the key factor that made the rebels to surrender peacefully. Their formidable weapon for bluff which would be:

that they had the possession and control of the 4th ID Camp, one and the biggest military camp in Northern Mindanao; that with all the canons and arsenals available therein, they can last in battle till kingdom come; and that in the course of the battle disastrous collateral damage would necessarily result,

had been transformed into an alluring sound rather than reverberating fear. Thus, in the negotiation, the government Chief Negotiator Sen. Pimentel was the one making the deadline as the power to unleash the words “Or Else we will attack” was in his hands.

The following were the specific details of that phenomenal event as to how I happened to get that seriously sensitive information that turned the most feared man into submission. First of all, it should be remembered that the name Alexander Noble echoed with fear all over the world at the time. Where can you find someone with only a Junior Lt Col on his side and something about sixteen to nineteen persons, composed of around six soldiers and the rest were CHDF (Civilian Home Defense Force), managed to travel about five to six hundred kilometers from Agusan del Sur to Cagayan de Oro City, and in the process, passing about twenty nine military checkpoints along the highway with not a single soldier courageously tried to stop them, and upon arrival in Cagayan de Oro City, the commander of the 4th ID Camp, BGen Miguel Sol, slink out of sight and abandoned his Camp.

At about 11 o’clock A.M. of October 5, 1990, one day after Noble and his group took over the 4th ID Camp; I disguised and entered the camp riding my 125 Yamaha motorcycle. There was an eerie silence, nobody was guarding the entrance gate but I saw a number of rebel soldiers scattered in strategic points, some of them on top of a park armored personnel carrier. They saw me but didn’t mind. I went straight to the building called “The Commander’s White House” where I knew Col Noble was based as the news had revealed. I was met calmly by a soldier downstairs and politely inquired about my presence, and I confidently introduced myself as Atty. Abeto A. Salcedo, Jr., a former Ist Lt of the JAGO, and that I came over to see Alex (I never knew Noble from Adam). Perhaps thinking I could be his friend, he ushered me personally to him. Luckily Col Alexander Noble was in friendly mode, and after that soldier presented me to him, cordially extended his right arm to shake hands, which I willingly responded. He then gestured that I may sit down. As soon as we had sat down comfortably at the conference table, we talk and I won his trust and confidence. PLEASE NOTE; WHAT FOLLOWS WAS THE CENTER OF THE REVELATION.

Then, Col Noble explained to me in this manner, ATTORNEY, PUMUNTA LANG AKO DITO PARA KAUSAPIN SI GEN. SOL, PERO UMALIS SIYA, INIWANAN ANG CAMPO KAYA’T I TOOK OVER THE COMMAND, KASI WALANG MAG-ASIKASO SA CAMPO, EH.” While in that instance, Col. Victor Erfie, politely interruptive us and as his face displayed a reluctant smile as he glanced at me, said: “EXCUSE SIR.” But before he could yet utter a word, Col. Noble introduced me to him, “SI ATTORNEY SALCEDO, ATIN SIYA.” Then Col Erfie continued, “SIR, MY PROBLEMA TAYO, SI MAYOR CANOY (REFERRING TO FORMER MAYOR REUBEN CANOY) HINDI NA MAKAPAGPADALA NG PAGKAIN NGAYON TANGHALI KASI HINAHANAP NA NANG NBI (NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION), AT ANG MGA CANYON AT LAHAT NA MGA ARMAS KINUNAN NG MGA FIRING PIN, BAGO UMALIS SI GEN SOL, AT ANG MGA BALA SA CAMPO TINAGO. SIR, MGA TAO PUYAT NA MASYADO, WALANG MAKAKAIN AT ANG ATING MGA BALA KAKAUNTI NALANG.” At this juncture, since all of us were military men, each one knew that the information was so seriously sensitive and damaging to the rebels that could bring them into a compromising situation if known to the enemy. Considering that they are in a situation where bluff is the name of the game, I knew that because I heard that information, my life would now be in the tightrope. Instinctively, I immediately said: “LEX, MAY MAGAGAWA TAYO, AKO NA ANG BAHALA, KAYA KO ANG PAGKAIN, WALANG PROBLEMA, AT YOONG IBANG PROBLEMA GAGAWAN KO NG PARAAN, IIKOT NA AKO.” Then, I immediately stood up as if I am in hurry. Noble and Erfie, as I keenly observed them, seemed confused whether to believe me or not. They both looked at each other, and perhaps by sheer sweep of luck, or shall I say destiny, Noble, as he stoop a little, condescendingly said: “OK ATTORNEY, PLEASE HA, PERO ATIN LANG YOONG NARINIG MOthen tapping slightly my left shoulder with his right hand. And I replied, trying to be natural as I could, “HUWAG KAYONG MAG-ALALA, ALAM KO NA YAN.”

Thereafter, at about 2:30 o’clock P.M., Senator Pimentel, the erstwhile DILG Sec. Santos (deceased), Sec. Leong (deceased), Governor Emano, and Mayor Pablo Magtajas were having a press conference at the City Mayor’s Office, then and there, while the press conference was in progress, I went straight to a family friend Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel and whispered to him that I have to tell him the intelligence I secured personally. He looked at me in disbelief and said wait for me outside. In a couple of seconds, I saw him stood up from the conference and we talked privately. Then I told him what I’ve heard when Col Erfie reported to Col Noble in my presence. Sen. Pimentel was very happy with the information I gave him. Then he said to me “OK” and went back to the conference.

At about 8 o’clock P.M., at the Office of then Mayor Pablo Magtajas, while the latter, together with the then Kagawad Maandig, and myself were monitoring the situation, a person came and presented himself as a soldier sent by then DILG Secretary Luis Santos. He then asked Mayor Magtajas he was looking for Atty. Salcedo. Mayor Magtajas asked why, and the man said, that Sec. Santos was able to read lip what Atty. Salcedo had whispered to Sen. Pimentel. That was why, Sec. Santos sent him to look for him. So, Mayor Magtajas pointed at me an assured me there was no problem. I asked the soldier why Sec. Santos wanted to see me, and the soldier answered the Secretary, together with then Col Ruiz and Lt Col Paras (Ruiz later became Brigadier General shortly thereafter) wanted that I brief them the actual situation in the 4th ID Camp. I went with him in a private jeep, apprehensive he might be one ordered by Noble to look for me. But it turned out he was real. At Lumbia airport I saw the one batallion of the marines, and Sec. Santos, Gen Ruiz and Col Paras met me. They asked me to brief them where Noble and his men were located; the surroundings of the Camp; where could be there entrance to attack; which side there were plenty of houses to avoid hitting them; the kind of high powered weapons the rebels had, and how many rebels there were, etecetera. I was told by them the marines would jump off at 4:30 o’clock dawn and enter the Camp. At about 9:30 o’clock P.M., after my briefing with the marines, I immediately called Sen. Pimentel by two-way radio and told him that if Noble and his men will not surrender before 4:30 o’clock dawn, they will surely be human baggage. At 2:30 o’clock early dawn, of October 6, 1990, Noble and his men, peacefully surrendered to Sen. Pimentel. At about 1:30 P.M. a foker plane landed at Lumbia Airport and we escorted Noble and Erfie, together with Senator Pimentel, Mayor Magtajas, the late DAR Secretary Leong, Atty. Fred Gapuz, Vice-Mayor Tony Soriano, myself, and many others to the Villamor Air Base where the two captured leaders were taken to their stockade.

The personalities that I have mentioned here are still living as of the present time, except for Sec. Luis Santos, and Sec. Benjamin Leong. The Camp Commander of Camp Crame at the time, Col Bobby Lastimoso, who treated us well when we visited him, is also still alive.

I really value peace that I risked my life for peace. It’s not hard to do. You must believe me, I have done it and it’s fulfilling until now. We’ve only got one life so we may as well accomplish something that the world will be benefited more than can be conveyed, and give ourselves something to remember and be truly proud of when we looked back in our old age and reflect on our life. Can’t we not do it all for our Country too? To Alex, may I offer my hand of friendship? I hope somebody can work it out that Colonels Noble and Erfie, and myself will meet again and be seen shaking hands and embracing each other. All’s well that ends well. Let’s thank no one but destiny.

Watch for my next post tomorrow August 8, 2009, which is about the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board or DARAB, and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension and Reforms or CARPER. This consists of six (6) consecutive series.


  1. Ok, Sir tuloy ang laban.

  2. Yepz...tuloy ang laban...GOODLUCK & GOD BLESS SIR!!!

  3. Finally! I found the man behind the peaceful surrender of ex-rebel Noble. SIR, THANK YOU...for saving Cagayan de Oro people from horrible loss of life if not BECAUSE OF YOU TIMELY information. I was then a fourth year high school student at that time and I cannot deny the fear that wrapped my heart upon seeing Noble and his men marching Carmen High way to Patag with high powered guns and tankers. MAY GOD SHOWER US WITH THE KIND OF PERSON AS YOU.. BRAVE BUT PEACE LOVING. HOW I WISH I WERE AS BRAVE AS YOU. DON'T WORRY, GOD WILL RETURN ALL THE GOOD DEEDS YOU HAVE DONE! MORE POWER!!

  4. This evening I have been thinking about the people who have had an influence on my life, and I came to read your comment recognizing and praising me for what I’ve done. I just wanted to express my gratitude for what you did for me at an important point in my life. I want to express my profound gratitude to you for saying such very nice words on me. I will never forget what you did.


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