SAF troopers from Marawi hailed as ‘lodi’ in Hero’s Welcome parade
For many Filipinos, they are the true “Lodi.”
Resounding chants of “Lodi! Lodi!” welcomed the battle-weary members of the Special Action Force as they marched back to their camp after fighting with ISIS-inspired terrorists in Marawi City.
Aside from the reverse form of the word “Idol,” the commandos who joined the Heroes’ Welcome parade mostly heard “Salamat, sir!” and “Ang galing niyo, sir!” from their well-wishers who lined the route.
A total of 182 out of 496 SAF troopers from Marawi City joined the march to the SAF headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City on Wednesday.
Upon reaching the headquarters, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa addressed the troops.
— Julliane de Jesus (@JLDejesusINQ) October 25, 2017
At one point in his speech, Dela Rosa turned emotional as he recalled receiving reports of his troopers dying in Marawi every time he was checking phone.
Four SAF troopers died in Marawi firefight, namely PO3 Alexis Mangaldan, PO1 Moises Kimayong, PO3 Alexis Laurente and PO3 Daniel Tegwa.
They will all receive posthumous medals and promotion to a rank higher.
Dela Rosa also lauded the SAF commandos for silently working in the five-month battle against Maute terrorists.
“You never took pictures or videos while you were fighting in Marawi. That’s how disciplined my men are,” Dela Rosa told the troopers.
“Hindi tayo nagyayabang. Hindi tayo nagpapakilala at hindi natin kineclaim ang hindi natin dapat i-claim,” Dela Rosa said.
Police Director Benjamin Lusad said as the commander of the PNP’s elite unit, he “can never be prouder of his men who led the way even the situation became worse for them.”
“There is a culture in SAF that’s very hard to explain. The level of discipline of a SAF trooper, no matter how far he goes, he will only keep it inside him,” Lusad said.
All troopers present in the program received the Medalya ng Kadakilaan.
The 60 troopers wounded also received the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting. /je
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