By Niño N. Luces
Legazpi City, Albay – The remains of Philippine Marines Pvt. Alejandro A. Balaen, who sacrificed his life to liberate Marawi City from terrorists, arrived to a hero’s welcome in Sto. Domingo, Albay Friday morning.
Relatives, friends, neighbors and local officials were on hand to welcome his remains in Barangay Lidong.
Pvt. Balean, 27, the youngest of 7 siblings, is a member of 7th Marine Company of the Marine Landing Team 7, was killed in action on June 9, 2017.
His elder sister is a 2nd Lieutenant of the Philippine Army, while his only brother is also enlisted with the Philippine Army.
Two of his sisters are teachers.
He completed his elementary education at Lidong Elementary School, went to Pagasa National High School Extension in Legazpi City and graduated with a hotel and restaurant management degree in Legazpi City.
The remains of Balean arrived Friday morning from Philippine Marines Headquarter in Taguig City, after a full military honor last January 9.
According to his sister, her fallen brother joined the Philippine Marines last August 2016 and was deployed in Marawi City which was attacked by the Maute Group in May 2017.
During a skirmish on June 9, a bomb explosion killed the Bicolano soldier.
Due to heavy fighting, however, his body was not immediately retrieved.
His body was recovered by August.
A series of DNA tests were conducted to confirm that the recovered body was that of Pvt. Bayaen.
Early this year, his body was flown to Manila and brought to the Philippine Marines Headquarters and accorded full military honors.