LOOK: Soldiers in Tanay welcome home heroes of Marawi
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division on Saturday, October 21, welcomed soldiers fresh off an almost 5-month deployment to Marawi City.
Troops from the 1st Infantry Battalion, led by Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Tampus, were met with a hero’s welcome at Camp General Mateo Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.
Tampus and his troops were among the first to arrive in Marawi to augment local forces after local terrorists attemped to take over the city on May 23.
Major General Rhoderick Parayno, Second Infantry Division Commander, praised his men and women, who helped in the recovery of firearms and rescue of hostages.
“Your accomplishments is the proof of the combat expertise and excellence of the Jungle Fighters wherever we may be deployed in country,” Parayno said.
He also commended the female soldiers who, he said, were the “embodiment of the modern Maria Clara – strong, aggressive, determined, patriotic and above all, ladylike and charismatic.”
On May 23, soldiers tried to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, Abu Sayyaf commander and supposed emir in an attempt to establish an Islamic State in the Philippines. Government officials were surprised to find armed fighters, wearing black and brandishing the ISIS flag, emerging to clash with government troops as a response to the operation.
Nearly 5 months later, on October 16, Hapilon and Omar Maute, leader of the Maute group, were killed in a military operation. The following day, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the “liberation” of Marawi, although clashes continued in some areas. – Rappler.com