From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 16): 525 soldiers from 82nd IB to augment forces in Marawi
A total of 525 soldiers from the Philippine Army's 82nd Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Miagao, Iloilo will fly to Marawi City on Saturday to augment government forces in fighting the Maute group.
This was confirmed by 82nd IB Commander Lieutenant Colonel Venel Morga in an interview on Friday. He stressed that this would be the first time for troops from his battalion would be deployed to Mindanao.
Morga said the Armed Forces of the Philippines was aiming to "clear all the remaining packets of resistance and they are pushing the units forward".
The troops will fly to Marawi City via C-130 plane from the Iloilo International Airport at 6:00 a.m. Saturday.
Morga advised his men to be safe in their battle.
"Whatever training they received when they were still recruits, the tactics, techniques and procedures, they should recall and they should apply them because these training was done to ensure that their life will prolong and nothing will happen to them there," he said.
The troops are also advised to "limit unnecessary movements" once they are in the area.
Morga said that he did not allow his troops to bring their motorcycles with them to further assure their safety. According to him, motorcycle is one of the reasons why a lot of soldiers of the Philippine Army were ambushed or killed.
"So, to avoid this, their motorcycles will be left here so that unnecessary movement will be controlled," he said.
While the family of these soldiers cannot avoid apprehensions because of the recorded deaths of some soldiers in Marawi City since the clash started, Morga advised them to "keep praying that everything will be fine."
Meanwhile, Morga recalled that they were ordered to deploy troops in January last year when the conflict in Marawi City started.
But due to the big events in Western Visayas, especially the hosting of Boracay Island in Aklan and Iloilo City of some meetings of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Palarong Pambansa hosting of the province Antique, among others, Morga said that they hold in abeyance the deployment of his troops.
"Now, because of the present development, 82nd IB was identified as national ready deployable battalion. When the need arises, we will be deployed anywhere in the country," he further said.