Flashes of bravery, unyielding courage and audacity marked the final, difficult push by government security forces against holdout elements of the terrorist Maute Group in the Islamic City of Marawi – in the face of the torrent of withering enemy fire, as video clips obtained by News5 testify in this report.
Three soldiers were wounded in this final push, punctuated by the zings and loud hits of bullets, explosions mixing with shouts, cries and cheers as the armored column turned on the heat against the last terrorist enclave near Padian Market.
“Paandarin mo (Move it).”
“Sige na, abante (Go, go, forward)!”
“Hold the line!”
One scene that should stand out in the annals of the Battle of Marawi, painted with broad strokes of grit and intrepidity, would have to be that one where Captain Jeffrey Buada, Commanding Officer of the 15th Scout Ranger “Mandirigmâ” Company of the 1st Philippine Army Scout Ranger Regiment, unexpectedly dropped his weapon and, face-to-face, engaged the enemy in verbal negotiation to free the non-combatant hostages being used as human shield.
“Sinabi ko lang na maawa na kayo sa mga bata, sa mga babae … ‘yung mga sugatan niyo mamamatay na lang ba diyan? So, kailangan natin gawan ng paraan, gusto ko silang iligtas, gusto natin na mabuhay pa sila (I said, have a heart for the children, the women … Your wounded comrades, are they just going to die? We have to find a way. I want to save them. We don’t want them to die),” Buada told News5 about the message he pressed to the other side.
After five tense hours, Buada managed to liberate the civilian hostages in a stunning turn of event.
A photograph of Buada carrying away a child hostage to safety has, indeed, gone viral and become enshrined on social media channels.