Philippine Marines Slaughtered by Abu Sayyaf
By Joel C. Atencio
Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin on Friday extended his sincerest condolences to the families of the seven gallant Philippine Marines (PM) killed in action during an encounter with elements of the Abu Sayyaf at dawn of July 28, 2011.
Gazmin has directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo S.L. Oban Jr. and the West Mindanao Command (WeMinCom) to continue with the operations and run after the perpetrators until they are brought before the bar of justice.
“We salute the heroism of the MBLT 11 of the Philippine Marines who figured in this particular encounter,” Gazmin said.
The Philippine Navy (PN) is also currently mourning the loss of seven gallant Marines.
With the national ensign at half mast, the Navy is currently making preparations for the arrival of the remains of these fallen heroes at the Headquarters Philippine Marine Corps in Taguig City later this week.
In a statement from Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, he stated that “It is indeed unfortunate that such incident transpired. However, as what had turned out, their sacrifices were not fruitless as the Marines in Sulu have proven that they are coming closer to attaining their goals against terrorism.”
He added that. “At this point, let us hope and pray that such incident will not happen again as your Sailors and Marines continue to strive even harder together with the peace and development loving Filipino people to fight terrorism.”
Currently, the Acting Flag-Officer-in-Command, Rear Admiral Orwen Cortez and Marine Commandant Major General Rustico Guerrero are in Headquarters Naval Forces Western Mindanao (HNFWM) in Zamboanga City to personally supervise the interment procedures of the seven killed in action Marines and the medical process for the 26 wounded.
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