A Filipino soldier who fought in the Marawi siege this year was awarded a posthumous Medal for Valor on Wednesday at the 82nd anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Captain Rommel Sandoval, 38, known to his comrades as ‘Daredevil’, died in September during the crisis on Mindanao in the south after saving the life of one of his comrades. He was awarded the highest military honor in the country, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
The AFP said in a statement that Sandoval was recognized for displaying extraordinary bravery, as well as his sacrifice in giving his life to save a comrade.
“Sandoval distinguished himself in combat as he displayed extraordinary courage, bravery, telling leadership and professionalism by offering the greatest sacrifice of giving his life to a fellow comrade, thereby keeping with the finest tradition of the military,” the AFP said.
Sandoval is the 41st recipient of the Medal of Valor in the Philippines; 17 out of them are still alive, with five are still in active service.
The battle of Marawi is the longest urban conflict in modern Philippine history. The five-month siege started in late May, when government troops took on fighters affiliated with the Islamic State, including the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups. It ended in late October after the death of militant leaders and the occupation of key buildings in the city, including the City Hall, Mindanao State University, a hospital and the city jail.