ILIGAN CITY – The commanding officer of three soldiers, who were ambushed on January 14 at a river in Lanao del Norte, became emotional at the necrological service for his men on Friday, January 15, at the Second Mechanized Brigade Chapel.
“I may not personally know the dignity of their birth, but I surely know the glory of their service in our unit, the Fourth Mechanized Infantry Battalion,” Lt. Col. Domingo Dulay Jr. in his tribute to his men — Corporal Bryan Binayug of Solana Cagayan Valley; Corporal Albert Saura of Maitum, Sarangani; and Private First Class Albert Soriano of Lingayen, Pangasinan.
They died in an ambush by still unidentified men on Thursday while crossing Rapadan River at the boundary of Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat in Lanao del Norte.
They were just on their way to the market to buy food supplies when they were brutally waylaid.
“Tonight, we pay tribute to three fallen comrades. We give them our last respect for offering the ultimate sacrifice in the service to our country and people,” said Dulay.
“This is not the first time that I lost soldiers under my command. But losing three men all at the same time is heartbreaking and truly devastating,” he added.
Dulay also shared that he never felt the weight of the responsibility as a commander until news of the ambush of his men came.
“This is a very painful moment for all of us. These were my men, these were the very same soldiers I send to combat missions,” the commanding officer said.
“Marahil karamihan kung hindi man lahat sa atin ay nagtatanong bakit sila pa?… Sa dinami-dami ng masasamang tao sa mundo, bakit hindi na lang muna ang mga iyun ang nauna? These three soldiers were on the good side. They were here to keep the peace in communities,” he stated.
Second Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Facundo Palafox IV vowed that the two battalions under his command will find those responsible for the death of his men.
“We grieve, iyakan natin sila pero at the same time, hanapin natin to the last man kung sino ang mga may pakana itong pangyayaring ito”, said Palafox.
The remains of the three fallen soldiers were taken to their respective home towns on Saturday, January 16, via military plane.