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Marawi war veterans recall Captain Sandoval's heroism

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Who could forget the heroism of Captain Rommel Sandoval of the 11th Scout Ranger Company during the Marawi siege?

Branded as a "daredevil," Sandoval was able to save a group of scout rangers who were trapped inside a building at the main battle area in Marawi City last August.

Following Sandoval's orders, they used an armored personnel carrier to leave the building and escape from the Maute group.

"Nakita ko rin na matapang siyang talaga, matapang siyang sundalo," an army officer said in Jun Veneracion's report on "State of the Nation with Jessica Soho" on Wednesday.

In September 10, his group was again trapped inside the Land Bank building located at the heart of the embattled city.

Captain Erwin Arcilla recalled that Sandoval wanted to save one of his troops who was wounded. At that time, the injured soldier was at the ground floor of the building.

"Ang dami na rin kasing tama ng team leader niya. Gusto niya agad makuha. Bumaba siya kasi malapit siya dito," Arcilla said.

When he went down, local terrorists fired shots and killed him.

"Inassault niya para makuha niya. Tinamaan siya while doing it tapos nung tinatamaan siya, tinakpan niya 'yung kasama niya," said Lt. Col. Samuel Yunque.

"Talagang grabe 'yung taas ng tingin namin kay Sir. Sa heroism na ginawa niya," Arcilla added.

Meanwhile, government forces have started to return to their families after the five-month battle in Marawi City.

A group of children cried in Lanao del Sur after members of the Philippine National Police - Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) bade them goodbye.

SAF troopers were warmly greeted with cheers by their loved ones and comrades-in-arms at their headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City on Wednesday morning. — Anna Felicia Bajo/BAP, GMA News

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