A Boholano soldier was killed in a clash between government forces and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Patikul, Sulu while his unit was reportedly on a rescue mission.
Remains of the fallen soldier, Corporal Roneil Autentico of Barangay La Victoria in Trinidad, arrived at the Tagbilaran City Airport on Wednesday afternoon, said Col. Ignacio Madriaga, commander of the Bohol-based 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army.
Autentico’s body was immediately transported to his hometown straight from the airport.
According to Madriaga, Autentico will be accorded military honors during his burial in Trinidad.
Autentico was serving under the 13th Scout Ranger Company of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion when he was hit in battle in Sulu.
According to reports from national media, the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion was on security operations to rescue hostages when the first of a series of firefights erupted on Sunday.
A total of 15 suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits and three soldiers were reportedly killed in the clashes that ensued.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, told national media that the ASG still has 12 hostages including one Dutch, three Indonesians, one Vietnamese and seven Filipinos. (ad)