Miss­ing sol­dier re­mains found

Sun.Star Davao - - TOP STORIES -

MANILA - The re­mains of a sol­dier, who had gone miss­ing dur­ing the Marawi con­flict and was later found dead, were ac­corded mil­i­tary hon­ors on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 10.

Cap­tain Maria Rowena Dal­ma­cio, di­rec­tor of the Philip­pine Marine Corps Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fice, said the re­mains of Pri­vate Ale­jan­dro Balean ar­rived at the Vil­lamor Air­base on Tues­day evening from Ili­gan City.

Balean was a mem­ber of the 7th Marine Bat­tal­ion Land­ing Team who took part in the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions against the Maute ter­ror­ists dur­ing the five-month armed con­flict in Marawi City last year.

Ac­cord­ing to his com­rades, Balean fell into the Agus River while their pla­toon was ma­neu­ver­ing against the en­emy on June 9, 2017.

They said they tried to res­cue him but the cur­rent was strong and they had to take cover from a hail of gun­fire.

On Au­gust 3, the Marine Bat­tal­ion Land­ing Team 7 was in­formed about the re­cov­ery of an uniden­ti­fied body which was al­ready in a stage of ad­vanced de­com­po­si­tion in Barangay Rurog Agus, Marawi City.

The ca­daver was clad in an olive drab shirt, pants, tac­ti­cal belt, black pouch and wooden beads bracelet with “Ka­may ni

Je­sus” mark­ings.

The body was sub­jected to foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion and DNA iden­ti­fi­ca­tion by the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP).

Of­fi­cers from the PNPCrime Lab­o­ra­tory took DNA sam­ples from Balean’s sib­lings, which were found to match those from the body.

The re­cov­ery of Balean’s body brought the num­ber of gov­ern­ment troops killed in the Marawi siege to 168.

MACKY LIM

LAUDED. Bureau of Fire Pro­tec­tion In­ter-agency Anti-Ar­son Task Force spokesper­son Fire Se­nior Supt. Jerry Can­dido dur­ing yesterday’s AFP-PNP Press fo­rum at the Royal Man­daya Ho­tel lauds the city for push­ing for glow in the dark emer­gency exit signs in­side struc­tures.

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