Salute to fallen comrades: Military honor Marawi siege heroes

Published May 22, 2022, 2:04 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has paid tribute to the 168 soldiers and policemen who died while fighting against the Islamic State (IS)-inspired terrorist groups during the siege of Marawi City in 2017. The fifth year anniversary of the infamous siege will be commemorated on Monday, May 23.

The Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) holds a wreath-laying ceremony at the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi City on May 20, 2022 to honor the 168 military and police personnel who were killed in the Marawi City siege in 2017. (Photo courtesy of WestMinCom)

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), graced the wreath-laying ceremony held at the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi City last Friday, May 20.

The wreaths were offered at the Heroes’ Wall where the names of the fallen government forces were engraved.

“We offer our snappiest salute to our fallen comrades who fought a good fight and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the fulfillment of their sworn duties to protect the people and secure the communities against the enemies of the state. Their heroic deed shall live on forever,” Rosario said.

The event was attended by Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and chairman of the Task Force Bangon Marawi; Senator Ronald Dela Rosa; Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra; representatives from the Department of National Defense (DND), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), United Nations (UN); and other top military and police officials.

On Monday, the country will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Marawi siege where the Maute Group, aided by homegrown and foreign terrorists from Daulah Islamiyah (DI) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), took control of the Islamic City.

The siege lasted for five months and Marawi City was declared liberated on October 23, 2017 after the death of ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon and Maute Group leader Omar Maute.

The war claimed the lives of 168 government forces, 12 of which were killed by friendly fire, as well as 87 civilians.

On the other hand, 974 militants were killed including 13 foreign terrorists. There were 1,400 individuals who were also injured; and 1.1 million residents displaced by the battle.