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Aquino leads ‘heroes’ welcome’ for slain soldiers

President Benigno Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay witness the arrival at the Villamor Airbase in Fort Bonifacio of the slain seven Marines. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino on Saturday afternoon led the heroes’ welcome for the seven Marines killed in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf extremists earlier this week.

The remains of the seven marines under Special Operations Platoon of MBLT 11 who were killed, including five who were beheaded and mutilated during an encounter at Patikul on July 28, are airlifted to Fort Bonifacio. JULIE S. ALIPALA / INQUIRER MINDANAO

The remains of the  seven soldiers, including a junior officer, arrived at the Villamor Airbase aboard a C130 flight from Zamboanga City.

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The soldiers honored by Aquino were Second Lieutenant Michael Baladad, Sergeant Desiderio Serdan, Jr., Corporal Ramsel Laynesa, Corporal Claro Lapasaran III, Corporal Freddie Castellano, Private First Class Juanito Evasco, Jr., and Private Nico Tinambunan.

The President was joined by Vice President Jejomar Binay and military officials.

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Aquino met with the families of the soldiers for 15 to 20 minutes before the ceremonies.

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Government, Marines, Military, Moro Insurgency, news, Terrorism
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