A NEGRENSE soldier said he and his fellow troopers are proud to be called liberators of Marawi City after almost four months of fighting the Islamic State-linked terrorists.

Technical Sergeant Jose Lumayno of Sipalay City, Negros Occidental was one of the 81 soldiers of the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division who were honored by the Provincial Government Friday, November 3, in rites held at the Capitol grounds here.

Lumayno, who shared the difficulties in fighting the Mautes, said they came from Bohol, where they neutralized the Abu Sayyafs in April, before they were deployed to Marawi in June.

He added that their first task was to focus on security operations, including road blocks and check points.

“Kung maging history man ang Marawi siege, the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company is one of the units that is proud to be called Marawi liberators,” Lumayno said.

First Lieutenant Richard Paul Gobway, commander of the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company, said that in Marawi, they conducted security clearing to prevent enemy reinforcement and withdrawal from the main battle area.

We also did “foot security to allow the seamless flow of combat support operation” of the assaulting units,” he added.

“During the later phase, we contributed to sandbagging. We brought the sandbags to the frontliners for them advance because almost all of the buildings were destroyed. There was no cover for them,” Gobway said.

He added that their unit rescued four civilians trapped for almost a month in the main battle area, and recovered 11 high powered firearms and two rifle grenades.

During the ceremony, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Major General Jon Aying, commander of 3rd Infantry Division, led in paying tribute to the soldiers.

During the wreath-laying rites, Marañon and Aying joined the families of the six Negrense soldiers who were killed in action in Marawi.