MANILA (UPDATED) - The assignment he refused to leave ended up taking his life.
The sister of Senior Inspector Fredie Solar, the police officer killed in the clash between government troops and the terrorist Maute group in Marawi City on Tuesday, paid tribute to her slain brother on Faceboook, recalling hardships he went through to become a cop.
"He was a young man with a dream. He dreamed to be successful. He dreamed to uplift his family from the hard life that we experience," Susan Solar-Urbano wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.
She also shared how through hardwork, Solar was able to graduate from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Cavite.
"He experienced hardship and this became his bread and butter to achieve his goals in life. Through hard work and determination, he was able to graduate in PNPA Sansinirangan class of 2007," Urbano said.
Solar, from Baguio City, was assigned in Mindanao after graduation. Urbano said they have repeatedly asked him to ask to be reassigned elsewhere, but that her brother refused.
"After graduation, he was assigned in Mindanao. For numerous times, we have pleaded for him to come back in Baguio. We have asked him to apply for re-assignment at any other place in the Philippines except Mindanao," Urbano said.
"At first, it was just patriotism that drove him to be in there. And as days and years passed, he still ignored our request to work for his re-assignment but he always assured us that it is safe there," she added.
Urbano said her brother liked it in Marawi City because people there respected him.
"He said, the people there respects him and this was enough for him to stay. He has come to love the people of Marawi," she said.
Solar died fighting for the people of Marawi, Urbano added.
"But just last night, at the Marawi siege, in the hands of heartless terrorists, we lost him. He died defending the people that he has come to protect. We lost a humble, kind-hearted, determined brother who we dearly love, all for the sake of the country," she said.
According to Urbano, Solar dreamed of being invited to speak at his alma mater's graduation. But while this did not come true, she is sure her brother's alma mater is proud of him.
"We have a lot of questions but we cannot find the answer. We can only lift everything to God. My brother may not have attained his goal to be a guest speaker at his alma mater, but one thing is for sure, we know that his alma mater is proud of him, and we will always be proud of him!"
Solar left behind his wife and two young children. His remains were brought to Iligan City and will soon be sent home to Baguio City.
At least five soldiers were killed and 31 others were wounded in ongoing clashes against the Maute group in Marawi City, said military Public Affairs Office Chief Col. Edgard Arevalo.
Authorities, however, have yet to identify the fatalities.
The ongoing clashes between the military and the Maute group led President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao.