Marines killed in Marawi receive full military honors

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 12) — Fallen Marines whose bodies arrived in Manila were given full honors Monday morning at the Marine headquarters in Taguig City.

The remains of 10 out of 13 Marines killed in Marawi were brought to Asero Hall where they were awarded with Military Merit medals.

ph-marine-medals_CNNPH.png The Military Merit Medals that will be awarded to the fallen soldiers  

The 10 soldiers at Asero Hall are:

  • Cpl. John Romulo Garcia
  • PFC Eddie Cardona Jr.
  • 1st Lt. Raymond Abad
  • 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano
  • Staff Sergeant Joven Triston
  • Sgt. Simon Plares
  • Cpl. Rolan Sumagpang
  • PFC Russel Gomez
  • Pvt. Bernie Jhon Lunas
  • PFC Gener Tinangag

Three other Marines were brought directly to their hometowns in Mindanao, namely:

  • Cpl Jobert Cofino
  • Sgt. Meynard Pegarido
  • Sgt. Miguelito Abao

They received the same military honors conferred upon their comrades.

All 13 were killed on Friday in what is considered as the most intense firefight since clashes broke out three weeks ago.

READ: 13 Marines killed in latest Marawi clashes - AFP

Vice President Leni Robredo was at the headquarters to welcome the fallen soldiers, as well as their families and loved ones to the ceremony.

vplr-fallen-marines_CNNPH.png Vice President Leni Robredo at the Marine headquarters in Taguig where the bodies of 10 soldiers killed in Marawi were given full military honors.  

The soldiers will be brought back to Asero Hall for the wake.

At noon, the names of the fallen soldiers were flashed on TV and read over radio, with the sound of taps.

The Palace said it was a "tribute to their heroism for making the ultimate sacrifice for the flag and the country we dearly love."

Families of the slain Marines said they were uplifted by the overwhelming support they received not only from relatives and friends, but also from people whom the soldiers essentially gave up their lives for.

They said simple messages of sympathy from strangers on Facebook meant a lot to them, especially this Independence Day.

The slain Marines who were honored were part of the team that recovered ₱52 million in cash and ₱27 million worth of checks in a house defended by Maute fighters.

Kristina Savellano, the sister of 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano, a platoon leader of the team, spoke to CNN Philippines and said her brother died a hero.

"I would like everyone to remember him as somebody who's caring and very passionate about being a soldier, as a member of the Marines. He's very passionate to serve our country," Savellano said.

Savellano's parents were at Villamor Airbase last night to receive their son's body. His mother Mercy Savellano shared her son said he was "okay" during their last conversation.

"We are very proud, kahit namatayan kami [even if we lost someone]," his father, Freddy said.

"Painful talaga,"  his mother said. "Pero yung iniwan niyang legacy, we are proud of him."

[Translation: It's very painful. But we are proud of the legacy he left behind.]

READ: Authorities recover ₱79 million in cash and checks in Marawi home

As of posting time, the number of government troops killed in action stood at 65.

National mourning

On Tuesday, the Palace released a statement declaring June 13-16, 2017 as Days of National Mourning.

National_mourning_CNNPH.jpg  

The statement said that on these days, flags in all government offices, educational institutions, and military installations should be hoisted at half mast "in honor of our men who sacrificed their lives in Marawi City."

CNN Philippines' Camille Abadicio, Isabella Montano, Gerg Cahiles, Ver Marcelo, and Pia Garcia contributed to this report.

Updated on June 20 to include details on the National Days of Mourning and to update the list of contributors.