Heroes of HHSG

    Marawi - Rubble and debris had been swept from the street around them, a cackle of small-arms fire and the thuds of mortar shell explosions could be heard in the distance as fellow soldiers targeted another pocket of militant fighters. This was the harrowing memories of Cpl Bryan Bagas and Cpl Mark Gerald Madrio as they embarked with the next chapters of their lives after the Marawi Crisis. Cpl Bagas and Madrio were both assigned with the 191st Military Police Batallion, Headquarters and Headquarters, Philippine Army. When the Marawi incident erupted, Cpl Bagas was then taking-up Scout Ranger Course and on the Test- Mission Phase (the last phase of the training before graduation) in Jolo, Sulu, Mindanao, while Cpl Madrio was on the mid-portion of his Culinary Training at GHQ, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. In the heat of the campaign, the two was able to meet each other with different mission to fulfil but has the same purpose at hand “defeat the enemy”.

    Bagas said he was mostly calm throughout the operation, except when they suffered heavy casualties and was hit by the enemy twice. “When I got hit and some of my classmates (SRC Cls 200) dies during our operation, I can’t help but worried, it could also happen to me” he said. The injuries suffered by the 29 yrs old from Buenabista, Western Samar did not prevented him from going back to the war zone after 11 days in the Army hospital.

    Cpl Madrio grown-up in a peaceful area, the 28 years old from Pangil, Laguna only wanted to have a stable job and ultimately serve the country. Madrio was never been in Mindanao and was not expecting to go there either. When he and his class in culinary training were dispatched in Marawi, he was thrilled but likewise worried and anxious. Although he was part of the combat service support mission it was not away from danger, distributing food to the soldiers inside the battle zone was never far from danger, Cpl Madrio leaved the rest to God and just do his job.

    The soldiers defeated Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City after five months of fighting. On 23 October, the AFP cleared the final ISIL-held building in Marawi, fully recapturing the city. A total of 168 soldiers sacrificed their lives and MOL 1,400 soldiers were wounded while 974 militants were also killed in the battle. Along with the casualties, much of Marawi was flattened in what was described as the heaviest urban fighting in the Philippines since World War II, Cpl Bagas and Cpl Madrio did not expect that they become part of the event. Soldiers and policemen deployed to Marawi were recognized for their gallantry, dedication, and commitment during the battle, fulfilling their mandate in serving and protecting the people and the country. The Chief of Staff of the AFP GEN CARLITO G GALVEZ JR AFP said the victory over the terrorists in Marawi “showed not only the uncommon valor of our troops but also the binding commitment of every Filipino to the flag and to freedom and the decisiveness of the victory is testament to the undaunted spirit of the Filipino soldier who will put everything on the line in the name of service”.

    On 21 May 2018, Headquarters Philippine Army headed by LTGEN ROLANDO JOSELITO D BAUTISTA AFP, Commanding General, Philippine Army administered the ceremonial donning of ranks of the 641 enlisted personnel from various units including Cpl Bagas and Cpl Madrio for helping liberate Marawi City from the Maute terrorists last year. Headquarters and Headquarters Support Group was proud for the accomplishment and service being rendered by Cpl Bryan Bagas and Cpl Mark Gerald Madrio for they not only shed sweat and blood and witnessed many of their brothers fall, but they remain ever vigilant and professional. “SNAPPY SALUTE TO YOU”

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