Negrense soldier killed in Marawi airstrike

A NEGRENSE was among the 10 soldiers killed in a government airstrike in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur earlier this week.

This was confirmed by Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division Commander Jon Aying based in Capiz, who identified the fallen trooper as Sergeant Joseph Villanueva of the 15th Infantry Battalion based in Lanao del Norte.

He was from Barangay Puso, La Castellana in Negros Occidental.

Colonel Eliezer Lozañes, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade with headquarters in Murcia town, said the remains of Villanueva is expected to arrive in his home province this weekend.

His body will be transported from Iligan City to Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City then to his hometown in La Castellana, Lozañes said.

On Wednesday, May 31, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said the Marchetti S-211 jet had made three successful bombing runs before dropping the wayward bomb that killed the 10 soldiers and wounded eight others.

It was earlier reported that 11 soldiers were killed.

READ: AFP: Friendly fire killed 10 soldiers, not 11

Officials blame failure of communication for the bungled air offensives initially staged to attack members of the Maute group in Marawi City.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza on Thursday said the government forces might suspend airstrikes, but it will be up to the ground commanders.

A board of inquiry will be investigating the cause of the friendly fire.

After the incident, the faulty aircraft has been grounded while the pilot involved in the unfortunate incident was placed on hold as he undergoes debriefing.

Meanwhile, Second Lieutenant MacGlen Abuyabor of Bais City, Negros Oriental was also killed by a sniper during the clash with Maute group in Marawi.

His remains already arrived in his hometown earlier this week. (with reports from SunStar Philippines)
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