IN PHOTOS: Heroes’ welcome for PH Navy’s Marawi contingent
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Navy chief Ronald Joseph Mercado prepared a heroes' welcome for the sailors, marines, and special operation groups who were deployed to Marawi City to fight local armed groups linked with the Islamic State.
More than 500 personnel returned to Manila on Monday, October 30, aboard the navy's biggest ship, BRP Tarlac.
"I am happy to join everyone in welcoming with warm and brazen great pride our Philippine Navy personnel. All these brave sailors and marines in front of us have been instrumental in the liberation of Marawi City," said Mercado in his speech at the south pier in Manila.
The marines fought fiercely to clear 3 critical bridges in the Marawi battle area that the military used to move in troops and supplies. (WATCH: The battle for Marawi's bridges)
The navy fleet also patrolled Lake Lanao to make sure enemies couldn't escape and reinforcements were not able to go in.
Mercado said intelligence information provided by the navy also proved critical in locating the enemies.