WATCH: Wounded soldier shares experience in Marawi battlefield

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — A soldier at the frontlines in Marawi City shared his experience on Saturday at the joint session of Congress, which voted for the extension of  martial law in Mindanao.

1Lt. Kent Fagyan, 15th Infantry Division commanding officer, said the Maute attack on Marawi was the most difficult fo him because of the terrain and enemy firepower.


"Comparing po doon, mas mahirap po yung sa Marawi kasi buhos po talaga yung mga bahay, tapos halos puro third floor and fourth floor," Fagyan said, "Upgraded po yung dito sa Marawi kasi marami po silang .50 caliber, yung radio scanner, yung drones, tapos unlimited po yung bala nila."

[Translation: Compared with previous attacks, the one in Marawi is more difficult because houses are dense, and most of them have third and fourth floor. The enemy in Marawi is upgraded because they have many .50 caliber guns, radio scanner, drones, and unlimited supply of bullets.]

The wounded 29-year-old said he also fought in the attack of the Moro National Liberation Front in Zaboanga City in 2013, and last year's clash with Maute in Butig, Lanao del Sur.

Fagyan said government troopers move slowly and hide themselves inside houses to counter the Maute's defensive position and move around the city dense infrastructure.

He added that houses abandoned by the enemy were littered with home-made bombs, which meant government forces need to be careful with their movements.

"Mahirap po talaga yung ginagawa namin. As much as possible, iniiwasan po namin yung casualty sa amin, pero magaling din po yung kalaban," Fagyan said.

[Translation: What we are doing is really difficult. As much as possible, we avoid having casualty in our side, but the enemy is also good.

He added because of the previous conflicts with terror groups, the military already knows some of Marawi's residents, which helped them identify those needed to be rescued.

Fagyan also expressed his gratitude for those who sent them assistance, especially clothing, food, and water, as he said it was difficult to sleep and eat in the battlefield.

"In behalf po sa mga kasamahan ko na lumalaban pa sa Marawi, nagpapasalamat po kami sa patuloy na pagtulong niyo sa amin. Kasi, nararamdaman po namin na hindi kami nag-iisa na lumalaban sa kanila," he said.

[Translation: In behalf of my comrades who are still fighting in Marawi, we are thankful for your continuous support. Because, we can feel that we're not alone in this fight.]

In a separate interview with CNN Philippines, Fagyan appealed to the public for more support and assistance, saying the simplest things could boost troop morale.

"Sa publikom sana suportahan niyo kami kasi mga sundalo, mababaw lang kaligayahan namin. Kung may simpleng bagay kayong binibigay samin, nakaka-high morale. Pero 'pag may mga salita against sa amin, which is hindi naman totoo, mas lalo kaming mahirapan," he said.

[Translation: For the public, we hope you support our soldiers because we have simple joys. Whatever you give us will boost our morale. However, if you speak against us, especially if they're not true, our job gets more difficult.]