ZAMBOANGA CITY- He survived the war in Marawi City but the same could not be said of his latest battle.
Staff Sgt. Jerry Lubiano, who was from the town of Lantawan in Basilan, was among the soldiers killed in a clash with local terror group Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
His remains, along with those of 4 other slain soldiers were brought to the Western Mindanao Command on Sunday night for full military honors.
The 43-year old Lubiano was wounded twice during the 2017 Marawi siege but managed to recover, according to his family.
Before pursuing Abu Sayyaf bandits last week, Lubiano was spending time with his family since the slain soldier was on a break.
" Sabi niya sa akin, 'ikukumpleto ko lang 20 years ko, mag optional [retirement] na ako'," Roberto, father of the slain soldier told ABS-CBN News.
(He told me that he would just complete 20 years and then seek optional retirement.)
"Aasikusahin na lang daw niya lupa niya na bibilhin pag nakatanggap na siya ng pensyon, magnenegosyo na lang," he added.
(He told me that he would attend to the piece of land he plans to buy and once he receives his pension, he would start a business.)
Roberto recalled his last conversation with his son before the latter left home last Jan. 21. The soldier would return later in a coffin.
"Sabi niya, 'hayaan mo papang habang hindi ko pa araw, hindi ako pababayaan ng Diyos pero kung dumating man ang araw na yun,wala ako magagawa'," the grieving father said.
(He said "Dad, don't worry because God will not forsake me as long as it's not yet my time but if that day comes, I can't do anything about it.)
Lubiano was in his 16th year in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He is survived by his 3 sons.
-report from Leizel Lacastesantos, ABS-CBN News