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Quezon soldiers honored as Marawi heroes

TAYABAS CITY — The provincial government of Quezon on Sunday honored the heroism of at least 79 soldiers from the province who fought for the liberation of Marawi City last year.

Gov. David Suarez led provincial and city officials in recognizing and giving awards to the last batch of 24 Quezon-born soldiers during the commemoration of the 177th death anniversary of local hero Apolinario de la Cruz, popularly known as Hermano Pule.

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Brig. Gen. Monico Batle, deputy Southern Luzon Command chief, joined the ceremony.

Each soldier received plaques and P30,000 in cash.

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Help assured

Suarez said although the amount was small, soldiers were assured of help by the provincial government for their needs.

During commemoration rites for Pule last year, 26 soldiers were given the same recognition.

Another batch was recognized in a ceremony in December last year.

Sgt. Jerick Millar, 32, from Catanauan town, lost his left leg in a bomb explosion in Marawi.

He received the award wearing a prosthetic leg.

Millar said the award from the provincial government “helped lessen the pain of losing a part of me.”

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Suarez compared the heroism of local soldiers to that of Pule, a Quezon-based revolutionary who died at 26 years old fighting to liberate the Philippines from Spanish colonizers.

Modern-day heroes

“Our soldiers are modern-day heroes in the mold of Pule,” Suarez said.

Pule was born on July 22, 1815, in Lucban town.

He had wished to become a priest but was discouraged by Spanish friars because he was an “indio.”

At 17, he founded the Cofradia de San Jose religious movement that attracted followers in Tayabas and the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Cavite, Tondo in Manila and parts of Bicol.

Pule and his more than 5,000 followers were forced to go underground.

He was captured and killed in Tayabas on Nov. 4, 1841.
His body was cut into pieces and his head was placed in a cage to be hung on a pole along the road leading to Majayjay town, Laguna province.

According to historical records, Pule’s heroism inspired three Filipino priests — Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora — to join the revolution against Spain.

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TAGS: Apolinario de la Cruz, Hermano Pule, Marawi heroes, Marawi siege, Monico Batle
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