CELEBRITIES threw their support behind troops fighting terrorists in Marawi City on Wednesday, and entertained wounded soldiers at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Health Service Command in Quezon City.
Entertainers Ogie Alcasid, Noel Cabangon, Chad Borja, Karla Estrada, K Brosas and Davey Langit, among others, gave the “ unsung heroes” a treat through music and laughs, while actress Snooky Serna gave them free lunch.
“Kaunting salo-salo [A little party] with our heroes, with our soldiers. This is really out of a sincere intention to show our appreciation. I am thankful that I was given this chance…na nakapiling ko ang ating mga sundalo na tunay na mga bayani [to be with our soldiers who are true heroes],” Serna said.
The soldiers did not miss the chance to take “selfies” with the stars, and said the visit was a big confidence and morale booster.
Private Adrian Arguelles, of the 44th Infantry Battalion of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, was caught in “friendly fire” on May 31 in his first field mission after finishing military training last December.
Arguelles, who has a leg injury, was among the eight government troops injured following a military air strike in Marawi City. Ten soldiers died.
“First time ko nu’n sa Marawi. Katatapos lang namin ng tanghalian, naghuhugas ako ng pinggan, siguro kung umalis ako sa puwesto nun, kasali rin ako sa mga namatay [It was my first time in Marawi. We just had lunch, and I was washing the dishes. I could have died if I left the post],” Arguelles said in an interview.
He was brought to Cagayan de Oro City and immediately flown to Manila.
The 26-year-old Negros Oriental native considers himself “blessed” to have survived. Arguelles said he was willing to go back and fight if his health improves.
The Manila Times also saw Corporal Richard Amor, who suffered four gunshot wounds: two on his leg, one on his hip, and another on the side of his forehead, after the Maute terrorist group attacked their base. Seven soldiers were killed while two were wounded in that attack.
Amor is the father of three kids, aged 2, 4 and 7, who believe their dad is just sick. His wife Rizel came to Manila from Lanao del Sur to take care of him.
Asked if she would let her husband go back to the war zone, the teary-eyed Rizel said: “Nasa kanya na yun. Susuportahan na lang namin siya [It’s up to him. We’ll just give him our support].”
The AFP Health Service Command started to admit wounded soldiers on June 2. There are 97 military men are recuperating in the hospital. The Veterans Memorial Medical Center earlier said it was ready to treat injured troops.