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Military sniper dedicates ‘kill’ to fallen comrade: ‘Nakaisa na ako para sa iyo, pare’

In the field of combat, killing an enemy is nothing personal. But not for a veteran military sniper deployed in Marawi City.

His code name: Black Eagle.

He wanted his identity to be kept secret but not his story because it's the only thing he could offer to a good friend and comrade killed in the protracted Marawi conflict.

"Sanay na akong pumatay," said the military sniper without a tinge of guilt.

But killing terrorists in Marawi is something totally different for it had become a personal crusade for Black Eagle.

He lost one of his best buddies, Marine TSgt. Aldrin Dinglasan, to a Maute sniper in Barangay Mapandi during the early days of the siege.

Black Eagle can still clearly recall the conversation he had with Dinglasan prior to the latter's deployment,  "'Pag namatay ako sa Marawi sundan mo ako, ibawi mo ako."

Black Eagle, a sniper instructor, was tapped to reinforce ground troops in Marawi after the death of Dinglasan, a godfather to his eldest.

I had the chance to talk to him on the phone while sniper fire rang in the background.

Black Eagle claims four "confirmed kills" so remembers every detail of the first one because it was the promise he had made to his friend.

Black Eagle said he was positioned at one of the towering buildings in Marawi's business district, trying to pick out a target from among the Mautes.

With one eye shut and the other peering through a powerful scope mounted on a rifle, he scanned the area before him.

Suddenly, he noticed some movement. A fighter clad in black carrying a sniper rifle rushing out of a building and quickly crossing the street. 

Black Eagle  followed his quarry,  focusing on the enemy's every step. Then,  he took a deep breath and halfway through exhaling - held it while zeroing in on his target. A gentle squeeze on the trigger and the bullet is released and finds its mark: killing him from a distance of 400 meters.

"Hit!" said the spotter beside him.

"Ang sabi ng tropa, yung nadale ko - yun yung (Maute sniper) na nakapatay sa kumpare ko," he said.

In silence, he reflected, "Sabi ko sa sarili ko, nakaisa na ako para sa iyo, pare."

Black Eagle fulfilled the promise he made to his good friend. He's still on the job but the succeeding hits were now all for the freedom of Marawi. — RSJ/KVD/JST, GMA News