THE Cebu City Government gave P78,000 cash assistance to the wounded and fallen Visayan soldiers of the Marawi siege in a tribute at the Plaza Independencia yesterday.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Vice Mayor Edgar Labella and Col. Miguel Aguilar led in the activity honoring 12 wounded soldiers and 34 killed in action. Each of them received P78,000 each.

Osmena said in an interview that he realized the sacrifices made by the soldiers and that the people should know what these soldiers left behind.

“They sacrificed not only their life. They sacrifice their family as well,” Osmeña said.

Osmena said he is willing to give jobs to the families of the soldiers.

Catherine Yso, executive assistant of the Office of the Mayor, said they don’t have the complete list of the soldiers yet but they will make sure everyone will be given the cash aid.

“Kon ma-in cash to nila ron magamit nato nila (They can use the money now),” Yso said.

First Lieutenant Christopher Montecillo, one of the wounded soldier, attended the tribute and also received cash.

“I couldn’t still find a perfect word to say how thankful we are for the tribute given to us. Actually we were not expecting na bibigyan kami nang ganitong tribute kasi noong nandoon kami sa Marawi ang usa sa among hunahuna lang man gud kay mahuman ang gyera (What we were hoping in Marawi was that the war would end),” Montecillo said.

“Amo lang gibuhat ang tanan as part sa among duty and kaning mga awards ug mga pasidungog nga gihatag sa amoa murag second ano na lang siya. So, daghang salamat (We were only doing our job in Marawi, the awards and tributes are secondary),” Montecillo added.

The tribute started with a mass followed by military honors and ended with the distribution of cash and plaques to the families.

“Hopefully, their sacrifice will not be forgotten and let’s pray for all soldiers na ngayon na patuloy pong nakikipaglaban para sa ating kalayaan,” Montecillo said. (USJR Interns Rolyn May Jumao-as, John Paul Fajardo)