His mother unit finally gave Marine Pvt. Alejandro Balean military honors after he went Missing in Action (MIA) at the height of the battle of Marawi city between soldiers and Muslim terrorists in June 2017.

The coffin bearing Balean’s remains was welcomed by the Philippine Marine Corps upon arrival Tuesday night at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City from Iligan City.

Balean went missing when Marine soldiers encountered an undetermined number of terrorists belonging to the Maute Group under Abdulla Maute and Isnilon Hapilon on June 9, 2017, in the vicinity of Mapandi Bridge, Barangay Daguduban in Marawi City.


Photo by the Philippine Navy

Balean, who belonged to the 7th Marine Company of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 7,  was among those who fought with his two other fallen comrades — 1Lt. John Frederick Savellano and 1Lt. Raymund Abad.

Based on the accounts of surviving team members, Balean fell into the Agus River while their platoon was maneuvering against the enemy. Attempts by his colleagues to rescue him proved futile because of the strong current and gun fires.

On August 3, 2017, the  MBLT 7 received a text message from a senior police officer in Marawi about the recovery of a decomposing body with lower pants, olive drab shirt, tactical belt, black pouch and wooden beads bracelet with “Kamay ni Jesus” markings in Barangay RurogAgus, Marawi City.


Photo by the Philippine Navy

The MBLT then coordinated with the Scene of the Action Crime Operatives (SOCO) from the Philippine National Police to bring the corpse to Capin Funeral Homes, Iligan City for forensic examination and DNA identification. It also informed the Balean family regarding the recovery of the unidentified body.

On November 12, 2017,  the PNP Crime Laboratory took DNA samples from Balean’s brother and sister to cross match with the DNA taken from the body.  On December 4, 2017, it confirmed that the remains found were that of Balean.#