MANILA-- The entire country has your back.
This was the message of Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as he visited troopers, wounded-in-action in the ongoing fighting with Maute Group terrorists in Marawi, now recuperating at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) in V. Luna Road, Quezon City Tuesday.
Magpapakatatag kayong lahat! Ang buong bansa ay nagdarasal para sa inyong kaligtasan at para sa kapanatagan ng inyong pamilya, he told the recuperating soldiers.
The DND chief also acknowledged the bravery of Filipino soldiers, who have proven their gallantry in action in conflict-affected areas such as Marawi City.
Sa puntong ito, marami ng nasawi at nasugatan sa tropa pero kapit lang, dahil ang kapalit nito ay ang tagumpay ng lahat ng Pilipino -- ang paglaya ng Marawi sa kamay ng mga terorista, he said.
No exact figures are available on the number of troops wounded in the ongoing fighting with Maute Group terrorists.
Heavy fighting broke out in Marawi City when government security troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, also known as the ISIS "emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.
We are almost there at the moment of our success so please do not lose hope, Lorenzana said.
During his visit to the wounded troops Tuesday, the DND chief was accompanied by members of a socio-civic group from Mindanao, the Damers and Clarions of Cotabato (DCC), an organization composed of graduates from Notre Dame in Cotabato.
It was first organized in Manila in 2010 and now has around 2,000 members.
Led by their president, Nitz Sodusta, DCC members manifested their concrete support to soldiers by giving care packages to 150 patients who are currently recuperating in the hospital.
Lorenzana, who is a DCC member himself, thanked Mrs. Sodusta and the DCC for giving their love, gifts, time and support for the Filipino soldier-heroes.
He attributed the group's heartfelt support for the Filipino soldiers to the fact that its members are sons and daughters of Mindanao, and have witnessed first-hand what government security forces go through to secure the people and their communities.
That's the reason why the soldiers are close to their hearts, Lorenzana said.
They know how you have sacrificed for them. They have seen and felt the hardships of our soldiers in their hometown and appreciated what you have done for them and their families, he added.
Source: Philippine News Agency