WATCH: Heroes’ motorcade for PH Navy marines, sailors from Marawi City
The Philippine Navy’s marines and sailors assigned to Marawi City returned home to a heroes’ welcome at Pier 13 on Monday.
The arriving troops were later taken to a motorcade to the Philippines Marines headquarters in Fort Bonifacio after the ceremony. The Navy’s AgustaWestland 109 also dropped flowers from the sky during the motorcade.
Corporal Reginald Danganib, a member of the Philippine Marines, said he was happy to be home for Christmas.
“Sa araw-araw ‘di ko alam if makakabalik ako ng buhay…Masaya ako kasi ngayong Pasko makakasama ko sila,” he told reporters after his five-month deployment.
If they were not busy fighting against the terrorists, he said he finds time to call his loved ones for them not to worry.
Danganib was one of the estimated 500 marines, sailors, aviators, SEALs of the Philippine Navy who were transported by BRP Tarlac (LD-601) to Manila from Iligan City.
His wife Sarah said she was proud of her husband and was relieved that he returned home safely.
“Sobrang hirap kasi may mga time na kausap ko siya na putukan talaga at pinagpe-pray talaga namin maging safe siya,” she said.
The Danganib couple has three children. Sarah said she hopes to have quality time together as a family before her husband returns to deployment.
“Sana may family time…kung may time na makasama po namin siya,” she said.
Combat operations in Marawi City were officially terminated last week, after five months of fighting. Over 900 terrorists and 45 civilians were killed from the conflict while more than 400,000 were displaced from the battle between government troops and ISIS-inspired terrorists.
Of the 165 soldiers and policemen killed, 35 were from the Philippine Marines. /je