By Anna Leah Gonzales

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday (Feb. 12, 2024) visits soldiers who neutralized Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group terrorists involved in the Mindanao State University-Marawi City bombing in December 2023. Marcos provided financial assistance to the 12 soldiers currently confined at the Army General Hospital in Taguig City. (Photo courtesy of PCO)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday personally handed over special financial assistance to 12 soldiers who sustained injuries last month while fighting the militant Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) involved in the bombing of the Mindanao State University-Marawi.

The 12 soldiers are currently confined at the Army General Hospital (AGH) in Taguig City.

Marcos also led the awarding of the Gold Cross Medal, Military Merit Medal with Bronze Spearhead Device, and Wounded Personnel Medal to four wounded-in-action soldiers.

Army spokesperson Col. Louie Dema-ala, in a statement, said the four troops from the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion sustained injuries during the series of firefights against DI-MG members on Jan. 25 to 26 in Barangay Tapurong, Piagapo, Lanao del Sur.

During these operations, Army troops neutralized nine DI-MG members, including suspects in the MSU-Marawi bombing.

Marcos recognized the troops’ courage and unwavering dedication to protect the Filipino people and to defend the nation against elements that threaten security.

He also assured them of the government’s continued efforts to implement programs that will provide assistance to battle casualties and promote the welfare of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and their families.

Also on Monday, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Xerxes Trinidad said Khadafi Mimbesa (alias Engineer), a reported amir of the Dawlah Islamiyah, was killed during the encounters.

He was the alleged mastermind in the December 2023 bombing of the Mindanao State University-Marawi City, where four died.

Marcos said the Office of the President is acting on the request of the AGH and the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City for additional equipment.

Marcos was accompanied by Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo, along with AFP chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. and Philippine Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Roy Galido. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)