Bodies of 2 Scout Rangers slain in clash with Abu Sayyaf sent home
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The bodies of two Scout Rangers who were killed in a clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Patikul, Sulu were brought to their respective provinces after a simple ceremony here on Saturday night.
A Philippine Air Force band, the colors and the team of Rear Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, commanding officer of Joint Task Force Zambasulta, led the funeral honors for Corporal Lonell M. Bautista and Private First Class Ervin D. Roquero as their coffins were loaded to a C130 cargo plane at the Edwin Andrews Air Base here.
Yoma said Bautista and Roquero, who belonged to the 2nd Scout Ranger Company of the 1st Battalion, fought against a big group of Abu Sayyaf led by Radulan Sahiron on Feb. 26.
As of Saturday (the fifth day of the operation), at least 24 Abu Sayyaf men were killed while 24 others were wounded, the military said.
Aside from the death of the two soldiers, at least 26 other government troops were also wounded. As of Sunday noon, there was no reported fighting in Patikul even as the military said the operations against the Abu Sayyaf continued.
Bautista would be coming home to his wife Merry Joy in General E. Aguinaldo in Cavite City, while Roquero, a young ranger, is going home to his parents in Tampalan, Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental.
Third among nine siblings, Roquero was the one in charge of sending his four younger siblings to school.
“All we ask from the government is to help us. We are all farmers here, my parents are farmers,” Margie, Roquero’s sister, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
Roquero’s dream was to build a house for his parents.
Yoma said the families of the two Scout Rangers will receive the standard assistance from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
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