Recovering soldiers raring to return to battle
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Soldiers recovering from injuries sustained in the Marawi clash have expressed readiness to return to the battlefield to finish off the Maute terrorists.
“Many of the wounded are determined to go back to the field. They have requested their doctors to discharge them immediately from hospital,” Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said yesterday.
As this developed, another soldier died fighting terrorists in Marawi on Sunday.
Cpl. Arshid Isirani of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 5 (MBLT) was given a hero’s burial in a Muslim cemetery near his hometown in Barangay Sinunuc yesterday.
The soldiers are being treated in different hospitals in Northern Mindanao like in Cagayan de Oro City and in V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City.
The military is reportedly wrapping up its clearing operations in Marawi City after having crushed terrorists’ strongholds.
Reports said only four barangays remain under the control of the Mautes.
Isirani was the fourth soldier killed recently in the ongoing skirmishes between the military and Maute terrorists.
The three others were 1/Lt. Raymund Abad and Cpls. Joebert Copino and Albert Basilio.
Police and the military have lost 59 troopers since the Marawi siege started on May 23.
Padilla said at least 50 wounded soldiers wanted to be deployed immediately to the frontlines to help liberate Marawi.
Isirani came from a family of soldiers. His father Jumai is a retired Navy soldier while his two brothers are in the Army.
The trooper reportedly tripped an improvised explosive device as he and his fellow Marines were clearing a cluster of houses in Marawi, according to his cousin Cpl. Enrile Jawad.
“He suffered bullet wounds, indicating the militants fired on the Marines,” Jawad said.
Ready to fight
Military reservists in Metro Manila trooped to Camp Aguinaldo during the weekend to signify their readiness to respond to the call of duty when the need arises.
Members of the Ready Reserve Units (RRUs) on Saturday joined a meeting attended by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Eduardo Año and Joint Task Force-National Capital Region commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Manangquil Jr.
“As our operations against terrorist groups and other lawless elements continue to intensify, our reservists must remain steadfast, dependable and ready to be deployed anytime,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservists and Retiree Affairs led the NCR Mustering 2017 event that brought together at least 112 officers and 555 enlisted personnel from around Metro Manila.
The AFP said the mustering would determine the status of the operational readiness and responsiveness of the reserve force.
“Our reservists are not only force multipliers, but also our partners in various non-lethal military operations and activities that contribute to nation building and national well-being,” Arevalo said.
As of the first quarter of this year, the AFP said there are 386,116 reservists from the Philippine Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines from all over the country.
74 new Army officers
The Philippine Army welcomed 74 new officers to its national defense team, who will be deployed in various areas across the country.
Graduates of the Officers Candidate Course Class 48-2017 composed of 61 males and 13 females were presented to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday.
The Army said the graduates underwent a one-year training at Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.