LOOK: Army sends over 400 soldiers to Marawi City

Cherry Palma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2017 08:43 AM | Updated as of Jun 17 2017 06:06 PM

ILOILO – A total of 409 soldiers and 19 officers from Camp Monteclaro in Miag-ao here were sent to Marawi City on Saturday morning.

The troops were from the Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry Division, 82nd Infantry Bantay Laya Battalion.

Before they boarded their planes, a send-off ceremony was held at the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan, where families also tearfully bid their loved ones goodbye.

Corporal Jessie Cabaltera hugs pregnant wife who is also in the Philippine Army at the send-off ceremony held at the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo.

According to Major General Jon Aying, division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, the soldiers will act as a follow-on force in the ongoing crisis in Marawi City.

Their deployment does not mean that they will be stationed at the front line--they will fill in the posts in the provinces near Marawi City left by soldiers who were already sent in to battle.

The purpose of their deployment is for the immediate stability of Mindanao and fast recovery of Marawi City.