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WestMinCom sends-off 1IB troops after liberation of Marawi

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Army soldiers from the 1st Infantry Battalion (1IB) deployed to Marawi City to reinforce the soldiers there during the earlier stage of fighting are set to return to Luzon islands for an impending unit enhancement training, the military said.

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said the 1st IB was awarded by the WestMinCom chief during the send-off at 7am Friday, October 20, in Camp Ranao, Marawi City.

"The unit is responsible for the rescue of 34 hostages of the Daesh-linked Maute terrorists and the recovery of assorted high powered and low powered firearms," Petinglay said in a statement.

According to Petinglay, the Silver Cross Medal was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Tampus and three other company commanders of the 1IB.

WestMinCom chief Army Lt. General Carlito Galvez, Jr. also accorded Command plaque to the unit.

In his message to the troops, Galvez said:“Maintain the highest dignity of a soldier. As much as we want to have you here, we need to let you go. Our oath is to serve the people and maintain the integrity of our country."

Army Lt. Colonel Tampus also rendered a completeness report to the WestMinCom Commander and Major General Danilo Pamonag, commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi.

He lauded the men and women of the 1st Infantry Battalion for their dedicated service at the onset of the Marawi siege. "My gratitude to you for a job well done."

A showdown inspection was also conducted during the said send off ceremony.

"Thank you for your dedicated service,” Galvez said before the troops while they were in formation on a drizzling Friday morning in Marawi. "I am so proud of you."

Last Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of war-ravaged Marawi City from terrorists, saying that it marks the beginning of rehabilitation.

Duterte’s announcement came after Marawi siege leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed in a military operation on Monday dawn.

Marawi City has been besieged by the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists backed by foreign Daesh militants since May 23.

Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao to neutralize the terrorists and contain violence in the region.

Despite the liberation of Marawi City, martial law in Mindanao would not be lifted until the government has neutralized all the terrorists in the region.

"When the time came, I declared martial law. Everybody is asking when will it stop? It will not stop until the last terrorist is taken out," Duterte said in a speech in Manila on Thursday evening.

As of October 16, the military said 824 terrorists were killed, 827 firearms were recovered and 1,771 hostages were rescued. On the part of the government, 162 soldiers were killed and more than 1,000 others were wounded in action. Hader Glang




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