ILIGAN CITY -- Members of the Philippine Coast Guard left for home on November 1 after a 5-month tour of duty in Marawi City as part of the government’s efforts to crush the Islamic State-inspired Maute group who had taken over the Islamic city.
Around 70 personnel were given the heroes’ send-off led by Captain Leovigildo Panopio, commander of PCG Northern Mindanao, despite of the rains.
The PCG, as part of Task Group Lawa of the Joint Task Force Marawi, played an important role in ensuring that no reinforcement coming into the main battle area from the lake can go in and that escaping terrorists will not able to go out.
“There were many attempts for the followers and sympathizers of the militants fighters to get inside and help but because of the Task Group Lawa, they failed,” Brawner said.
In June, Madie Maute, one of the Maute brothers who led the attack in Marawi, was killed while he was attempting to escape with eight others on board a motorized boat.
In his message, Panopio said he was amazed of the bravery shown by the PCG troopers during their stint in Marawi.
“Pinupuri ko ang inyong hindi matatawarang sakripisyo. Hinahangaan ko ang inyong pagmamahal sa ating bayan,” Panopio said.
A day after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared termination of combat operation on October 23, troops started to pull out in Marawi signifying the end of war leaving the central area in total destruction.
Over 900 terrorists, 165 security forces and 45 civilians were killed, while more than 400,000 residents were displaced from the said battle.