Marine killed in Marawi was set to marry childhood sweetheart

Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 12 2017 03:53 PM

A soldier stands on guard during the wake of a Marine killed in Marawi.

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Corporal Joebert Cofino, one of 13 Marines killed in the battle for Marawi, will never fulfill his promise of marrying his childhood sweetheart nor see their infant son grow up. 

Cofino died Friday after he was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade lobbed by Maute fighters. 

His 21-year-old partner Pronielyn shared she and Cofino grew up together as neighbors. 

They started dating when Pronielyn was just 14 and eventually lived together when they had a son. 

Cofino, she said, was supposed to marry her the next time he goes on vacation. 

He had also promised to support her with her studies until she graduates in October. 

The violence in Marawi that Cofino sought to end however has thwarted all his promises to his family and also robbed him of the chance to celebrate his birthday this July, the same month that his son would turn a year old. 

"Galit ako sa mga Maute, pinatay nila 'yung asawa ko. Nawala mga pangarap namin, marami kasi siyang plano," a crying Pronielyn told ABS-CBN News during the soldier's wake in Zamboanga City. 

The Philippine Marines on Monday guaranteed assistance for the families of their comrades killed in the rebel takeover of Marawi. 

As of Saturday the number of security forces killed in the battle for Marawi stood at 58. The death toll for civilians was 20 and more than 100 had been killed overall.

The seizure of Marawi by fighters allied to Islamic State, including some from the Middle East, has alarmed Southeast Asian nations which fear the ultra-radical group - on a backfoot in Iraq and Syria - is trying to set up a stronghold on Mindanao that could threaten their region. -- With Reuters