experience leading to calling / mercy / plan of God / Search for truth / The Old Path / transformation / turn a new leaf

My life revolved around insane risks behind guns and bullets before I joined the Church of God

Ever since I got here in the church, my old pals kept playing many jokes on me. Some kid me that I will only last for three months in the church. Three months have passed and they again told me that I will only stay for six months. After my one year of stay in the Church they got mad at Bro. Eli.

By Sonny Dimaguiba

My life story is something that you can only watch in action/suspense/thriller movies. Retelling it in writing has been very challenging and delicate for anyone to handle.

I may be the one who killed your relative or your friend or who you know who was killed or murdered by someone. I hope readers could draw both inspiration and forgiveness from their hearts at the same time after reading my true story.

My life revolved around insane risks behind guns and bullets before joining the Church of God, Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) as locally known.

I had credentials to kill which was not something to brag about or to be proud of, but to let the readers know, how I not only wasted the lives of others but my own life as well.

I come from Agdao formerly known as Nikaragdao, in Davao City, Philippines. I have two sons, Samuel Jonard as the eldest followed by Carlos, with my Chinese wife, Marina Uy.

Not so long ago, Davao city was conquered by the New People’s Army (NPA), and I was one among them. We were waiting for the opportune time to capture the Philippines but that didn’t materialize. There was a point in my NPA life that we were thrown to by grenades and all of my comrades were annihilated except me. His saving grace helped me survive that fatal blast and the memory of that near-death experience left me with a broken skull.

I witnessed the merciless killings of the NPA. At first, they were just practicing “PAGTUKI” (trial) but later on, they just kill people without basis at all. For that reason, I surrendered to the Philippine Constabulary (PC), now known as police and they gave me SELF-CONDUCT PASS where I was made part of a YUTU. A YUTU is a “salvage squad” which became non-operational later on.

Thereafter, when it became inactive, my boss made me a goon in a syndicate called HAI ALAI where a great deal of money was involved. The worse thing was, I was not just an ordinary member; I became a coordinator of it.

On top of it all, after quitting NPA, I co-founded ALSA-MASA and within two years, it made Davao city peaceful once again so the City kept us.

I have been acquainted with few personalities because they have entered our camp and I was one of the generals at that time; secretary-general to be specific. One of the personalities who until now know me is Mr. Jay Sonza, the Station manager of UNTV that time.

Shortly after the ALSA-MASA was founded, we formed another group called RRA. It was used by the government to kill rugby boys. Since the members of our group were all professional killers, it’s not surprising that in a period of six months all the rugby boys were annihilated.

I joined almost all the armed-groups, became an asset of the military, and not long after, became a member of the Sparrow Unit.

I stopped involvement with the military for a period of time. In fact, I quitted the Sparrow Unit to search for truth. I joined BAMA thinking that the truth was there. My basis for joining it was the wrong notion that people in the bible were Muslims. Eventually, I quitted because my conscience was in contrast with its beliefs and I came to the realization that it was not the right venue for what I was searching for. The lives of people in BAMA are not important.

I went back to police force after quitting BAMA where they made me an area supervisor for street sweepers or what they call in Filipino as “KAPATAS.” It’s a group where many secrets are hidden. KAPATAS is what you may call as gun-for-hire.

I have lived the life of pleasure; money was not a problem. One bullet struck in one’s body equated to money. I was not called “gun-for-hire” for nothing. That was how bad and misshapen my life had been.

Despite the pleasures and riches this world had offered me, happiness was too far-fetched and that was not all. Peace of mind didn’t even become my neighbor in the killing world I lived in, especially at times when I watched the family of the murdered people on television crying.

One of my unforgettable targets for assassin was a pusher of shabu who was my twenty-thousand peso last project. I was assigned to kill that guy but for whatever reason beyond my mind’s capacity to grasp, I just can’t get him on the spot. For instance, I planned to strike him at his house but I just decided to go back home because it felt like he will not come out of his house.

God’s timing had always been and will always be a perfect timing. I say this because when I arrived home from my failed assassination, I opened the television and there I saw Bro. Eliseo Soriano. I heard his preaching which were rightly fitted to my dilemma.

Bro. Eli was in effect nagging me. It was boggle for me on how he knew my predicament. The show was challenging me to a point where I nearly pulled the trigger to shoot the television set. My curiosity heightened, so instead of literally killing the TV, I continued watching it discreetly. Discreetly, because in our territory, the people would play jokes on you if they knew that you’re tuning in to religious channels. I closed my windows and even kept my son outside to watch Bro. Eli Soriano in secret.

I heard the word “murderer” and the words that were spoken on stage by former Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) member, Bro. Joselito Amansec. He said: “It has been ten years that mercy had gone out of my heart…” This stroked my innermost soul. Believing it as the truth at that moment was never an option in spite of the emotions that I felt every time I watched “Ang Dating Daan”.

Thus, I continued on with my “bloody career.” I resumed on targeting my last twenty-thousand peso project but I still couldn’t get him. Just like a déjà vu, I went back home, opened the television to listen and watch Bro. Eli’s rebuke on me. His words penetrated my heart at that time because I decided to give up on killing my last project and accepted the fact that it was not his time to die yet.

As I endured the emptiness in my life with my family, my son and I passed by a coordinating center of “Ang Dating Daan” and I remembered my son saying, “Dad, you said that’s our religion” while pointing at the logo. I looked and learned that there was an indoctrination being held.

I took the indoctrination discreetly because I was afraid of people who will play jokes on me – something ironic for a fearless hit-man like me. I had two fixtures then when I had my indoctrination; wig and gun. Wig for disguise and gun for habit’s sake.

Why I couldn’t kill my last prey was a mystery which resembled my being a lone survivor from the grenade blast way back during my NPA days. That mystery was resolved the day when I got indoctrinated at the same time with my supposed prey.

I wanted to be sure that, that was him so I pretended that I had to pee. It was just an alibi to check my wallet in the lavatory to take the picture out. I was surprised to find out that my elusive prey for months sat beside me listening to the indoctrination as well. A voice whispered in my ear saying “there is your prey.” I told myself before, that this guy had to go down. I was going to kill him by hook or by crook, period; but my conscience took over.

We got an opportunity to talk to each other; he said his name is Ronald. When he mentioned his name, it rang a big confirmation in my head, and he really was my prey! He said in one of our exchanges, “Let us continue with the indoctrination, okay?” Those words, I kept until baptism.

I struggled during my indoctrination because I was still encouraged by my job to kill and alcohol did not leave my taste buds. It took a lot of great strength to hide my gun and grenade under the cabinet.

When baptism day came, Ronald, my supposed prey, my classmate in those sessions, hugged me. We both made it!

Bro. Ner Manabat told me that when I got baptized, the water produced some smoke! Imagine that!

Two years after I was baptized, I told Ronald, that former shabu pusher and my supposed target, the truth that I was the one who was assigned to assassinate him.

There was also one person I was haunting for years to kill, not for money but because of hate and vengeance. I wanted revenge for his stubbing me with a knife. I found him in my first worship service that I attended but in a different light because he was already sitting on a wheel chair and was really suffering. Pity overcame the hatred that I felt for years.

What was more painful was that of all the brethren and of all the Quick Action Team (QUAT) members, I was the one who was assigned to take him to and from his house. When I reminded him about what he did to me, he told me that it was over and we should forget about it. He claimed that his case was already a punishment.

Ever since I got here in the church, my old pals kept playing many jokes on me. Some kid me that I will only last for three months in the church. Three months have passed and they again told me that I will only stay for six months. After my one year of stay in the Church they got mad at Bro. Eli.

Their madness lasted for a couple of years until there came a time they asked discreetly about the congregation. And just as nature works like a tide of water in the ocean that can’t be controlled by any man, these same friends who persecuted me before came to listen to the indoctrination given by Bro. Eli.

Note: The names in this true story were changed upon the request of the brother for security reasons. He has turned a new leaf and is living a Christian life now.

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69 thoughts on “My life revolved around insane risks behind guns and bullets before I joined the Church of God

  1. God truly called you
    and he touched you
    and he opened your eyes to let you look up to him.
    He forgave you
    He didn’t look at your past
    You are now in Christ.
    He healed your body and your soul
    and sent you healing.
    What God did
    he did forever.
    God bless you brother,
    keep going strong.
    He gave you more than you asked for.
    Praise the Lord.
    I get many struggles in life but knowing he is with me
    I survive.
    Sometimes you think your struggle is heavy
    but if I tell you mine
    you may start crying.
    But now I look only
    how God handled it
    and who I am in Christ.
    Our past is the lesson.
    We Learn.
    I love you brother in Christ.
    Say hello to all my brothers andd sisters in Christ there.
    God bless.
    and he will send more and more and more blessing to you
    because he knows you better
    than anyone knows you.

  2. This is really an inspiring story. I almost cry while reading this testimony. I hope that many sinners will also be enlighten and turn their paths in to the truths by listening to Bro. Eli Soriano, The Most Sensible Preacher Of Our Time. To God Be The Glory Forever and Ever Amen!!!

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