Hundreds of soldiers deployed to Zamboanga City that engaged with the forces from Moro National Liberation Front in a three-week fighting arrived to a heroes’ welcome in Manila on Wednesday.
The military troops were part of the Joint Special Operations Group (JSOG), the military’s main effort that fought with the Moro rebels. It is the anti-terrorism strike force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The soldiers flew home via a C-130 cargo plane from war-torn Zamboanga City to Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. They were be welcomed by AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Alan Luga.
Units from the JSOG include the Light Reaction Battalion, Naval Special Operations Unit-8, Air Force’s 721st Special Operations Squadron, 120 Special Operations Group and 710th Special Operations Wing. It is led by Colonel Daniel Pamonag.
Ten of the 19 military personnel killed were from the JSOG, including the two Army junior officers — First Lieutenants John Kristopher Rama and Francis Damian.
A command plaque was presented to the JSOG and Special Operations Task Group and the Special Operations Command, while a plaque of appreciation was presented to the commanders of the units.