MANILA, June 23 — Despite injuries sustained in ongoing efforts to free Marawi City from the remaining Maute Group terrorists, Filipino troops wounded in action have high morale and raring to go back into the fight after spending some time in the hospital.
This was bared by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo when asked about the status of troops wounded-in-action Friday.
“Their morale is high notwithstanding the wounds they sustained. They know since the start that this is a reality of the service that they must face. As the old Filipino adage says, ‘Ang isang sundalo, habang nasusugatan, lalong tumatapang,” he said.
Arevalo said Filipino troops wounded in the month-long conflict, are either refusing to be evacuated to the rear or are yearning to be back to the front lines after sometime in the hospital particularly those who sustained minor injuries.
“And indeed more than half, I was told, were back in action (already),” the military official said.
The AFP has declined to give exact figures for the numbers of soldiers wounded-in-action in the ongoing fighting but sources has placed this to around 300 military personnel.
Fighting with the Maute Group terrorists started shortly after attempts by the military to apprehend Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, a staunch ally of the lawless elements, last May 23.
As of this posting, the death toll in the ongoing fight is placed at 268 Maute Group terrorists, 66 soldiers and police officers and 26 civilians. (PNA)