He almost committed suicide when he was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer but Col. Renato Dugan claimed the Our Lady of Simala in Sibonga, Cebu cured him.
That was in 2008 when he already stopped his radiation and chemotherapy sessions when his doctor already gave up on him but miraculously he felt healed after he visited the Our Lady of Simala Shrine in Upper Lindogon, Sibonga.
“Colonel Dugan is a walking time bomb waiting to explode,” the Bicolano but Bantayan, Cebu born retiring police officer recalled what his physician told him after he collapsed while at work in the Police Regional Office (PRO 7) headquarters in Camp Sergio Osmena Sr.
His audience included PRO 7 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Valeriano De Leon, his siblings, family, friends and fellow policemen in the service.
Dugan, 54, a member of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) 1993 Tagapaglunsad Class said he decided to surrender everything to the Almighty as he discontinued his medical treatment. He was diagnosed in 2004 where all his fellow cancer patients in private hospital that he knew, including a former town Mayor, already died.
After his 2008 hospitalization, he decided to visit the Virgin Mary shrine in Sibonga where he said he felt cured after he intensely prayed for the “very first time.”
He said he felt a distinct warmth in his entire body that made him energetic unlike the feeling of being drained and weak when he went up to the stairs in the shrine leading to the miraculous statue.
“That was my first encounter with Mama Mary. Hindi ko alam na pag-akyat ko doon kung sino man ang nakapunta doon parang nagsalubong yung mata namin Sir, hindi ko alam kung ano ang naramdaman ko Sir parang sinabihan ako ni Mama Mary ( I didn’t know when I went up there, whoever had been there, it’s like that our eyes met Sir, I don’t know what kind of feeling was that then as if Mama Mary told me)
“why only now?,” Dugan addressed Gen. De Leon who was intently listening to his heart-wrenching speech.
“To tell you honestly Sir pagbaba ko doon Sir, paglabas ko doon sa simbahan parang hinipan yung sakit ko (when I came down Sir, when I went out from the church, it was as if my ailment was blown away),” the police officer empathically said.
When he was diagnosed, Dugan revealed how he almost committed suicide
by shooting himself with his government-issued gun but after he cried alone, he realized not to give up.
“My wife did not know it, I went up upstairs to our room and closed it. I got my issued caliber Colt .45 lock and loaded and almost shot myself. Taning (the devil) and
angel fought. I wept. In short, the angel won,” Dugan said in a mix of English and Filipino.
He went to mass the next day along with his wife where his resolve to fight his ailment got a boost from the homily of the priest, a certain Fr. Joey Danao, who exalted cancer patients as “chosen” because they were given time to prepare and remorse for their sins when the inevitable happens.
So Dugan persevered and continued in the police service until another milestone happened to his career in 2016 when he becomes full-pledge Coronel (formerly Senior Superintendent) which he said is a “bonus” of his extension.
The current chief of the Regional Police Community Relations Department (RPCRD) also known as “R5”, said he was just then eyeing optional retirement after serving for 20 years but his former superiors prevailed on him.
Then former PRO 7 director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas (now NCRPO chief) asked him to continue but he chanced on having his early retirement papers signed by then-Deputy Regional Director for Administration Dennis Agustin, when Sinas went on leave and so he would finally vow from the police service by the end of December.
Dugan who will now be a full-time husband to his wife, Belle and father to his only son, Reinz Bill, had this to say to his colleagues whom he will leave behind.
He reminded them of the love of family and of faith and reverence to God.
“Let us give time, quality time and let us love our family,” he said.
“Regardless of everything, always include the guidance of the higher up,” adding, in order for the policemen not to go astray, they should be contented of what they have by living frugally depending on their salaries.
“Para dili ta maadto sa mga problema makahimo ug mga (so that we will not encounter problems then resort to) illegal be contented of what you have, contentment in life. Kung ang atong sweldo, ang kaya is pag-eat didto sa Jolibee wag nyo munang pilitin na kakain kayo sa Marco Polo o doon sa Radisson dahil mahal doon (If our salary could just let us eat at Jolibee do not force yourself to eat at Marco Polo or Radisson because it is expensive there), because the moment that you will do that the problem started.”
Take it from Col. Renato Dugan, an “Oragon”, a cancer survivor, now a full time warrior for the Lord when he retires at the end of the year.