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PH Marines honor fallen comrade in Marawi City siege.

The Philippine Marines accorded on Wednesday military honors to its fallen comrade, who was initially reported missing while in battle against terrorists but later on found dead in Marawi City.

The remains of Pvt. Alejandro A Balean, a member of the 7th Marine Company of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-7 (MBLT-7), arrived on Tuesday night at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City from Iligan City, the Philippine Marines said in a statement.

He was reported missing last June 9, 2017 in the vicinity of Mapandi Bridge, Brgy. Daguduban, Marawi City during the encounter Islamic State-inspired terrorists, Maute Group.

'Accounts from the survivors said that Pvt Balean fell into the Agus River while their platoon was maneuvering against the enemy. Attempts by his colleagues to fetch him out of the water proved futile against the strong current and hail of gun fires,' the Marines said.

But on August 3, the Marawi City police informed the MBLT-7 that a body was recovered in the vicinity of Brgy. Rurog Agus. The decomposing body wore camouflage pants, olive drab shirt, and other accessories.

The body was later brought to Capin Funeral Homes, Iligan City for forensic examination and DNA identification.

On November 12, the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory collected DNA samples from Balean's brother and sister to cross-match with the DNA taken from the cadaver. Results released in December confirmed that the cadaver was Balean's.

Balean is the 168th fatality from the government side in the five-month Marawi City seige, which is considered the biggest security crisis of the military in recent years. /kga

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 10, 2018
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