BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A Negrense Army officer, who led an Army elite unit, in the fight against ISIS-linked militants group during the Marawi siege, has been promoted to full-pledged colonel.
Col. Marlo Jomalesa, of Silay City in Negros Occidental, used to be the commander of the Army’s elite 5th Scout Ranger Battalion, and officer-in-charge of the 63rd Infantry Battalion.
He is now assigned at the Philippine Army headquarters at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, after his stint in Marawi and later in Jolo, Sulu.
Military records show that the 5SRB neutralized 75 ISIS fighters, who were killed during their siege at the ISIS last stronghold in Marawi, aside from rescuing 33 civilians and a priest, and the neutralization of Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, a Malaysian national, who was tagged as financier of the ISIS in Marawi.
Jomalesa led his men in the assault of the last stronghold of ISIS, that ended the Marawi siege in October 2017.
Jomalesa was conferred the “Lapu Lapu” award for Combat Leadership by President Rodrigo Duterte, during the Marawi campaign, and a Gold Cross Medal and Distinguished Service Star during the Sulu campaign. Aside from Jomalesa, other Army Rangers promoted to full-pledged colonels were Lt. Col. Ramir Redosendo, 11th Infantry Battalion commander assigned in southern Negros, and Lt. Col. Col. Ruben Guinolbay.*