5 soldiers slain in Sulu going home as heroes
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Five soldiers are going home to their respective families as heroes.
Corporals John Raphy P. Francisco, Renhart T. Macad, Bryan Q. Apalin, Marlon P. Manuel and Private First Class John P. Labbutan of the 41st Infantry Battalion fought hard in Patikul, Sulu on November 16.
An hour-and-a-half firefight against more than 50 Abu Sayyaf bandits resulted in five killed in action and 23 others wounded.
Colonel Noel Detoyato, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said the military lost great soldiers in rescuing kidnap victims and making Sulu free from the violent extremism of the Abu Sayyaf.
“General (Carlito) Galvez (Jr.), the Armed Forces Chief of Staff is extending his condolences to the bereaved families. He is nostalgic and sad about it but directed the ground commanders and troops to continue the fight and momentum against the Abu Sayyaf,” Detoyato said.
The Western Mindanao Command is preparing today the sending off of the bodies of five fallen heroes back to their respective hometowns to honor their heroism in Sulu.
Bodies in caskets are for send off around 11 a.m. at the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Barangay Santa Maria.
On Sunday night, Galvez visited the Don Basilio Navarro Hospital and pinned medals to 15 wounded soldiers, all colleagues of the five.
Earlier, Galvez visited the troops in Jolo, Sulu. Eight other soldiers who incurred minor injuries during the November 16 encounter and confined at the Gen Bautista hospital in Barangay Bus-Bus, Jolo, also received the same wounded personnel medals.
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