Duterte awards gold cross medal to soldier slain in Bohol clash

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte conferred on Monday a Gold Cross Medal on Second Lieutenant Estelito Saldua Jr., who died in an encounter with suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol last week.

The President visited the wake of Saldua on Monday morning in San Jose, Batangas upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City after his week-long visit to the Middle East.

According to state-run RTVM, Duterte granted Saldua’s parents some financial assistance.

“If you need anything, whatever problems you cannot solve, just call me,” Duterte was quoted as saying.

The 23-year-old soldier, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy’s Sinaglahi Class of 2015, was killed while conducting combat operations against the Abu Sayyaf group in the remote village of Napo in Inabanga, Bohol last April 11.

A clash broke out in the province when troops from Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion led by Saldua acted on intelligence report on the presence of armed group in the village.

Apart from Saldua, slain government troopers were Corporal Meljun Cabajan, Sergeant John Dexter Duero from the 47th Army Infantry Battalion; police Officer 2 Rey Anthony Nazareno; and a member of Special Weapons and Tactics group. (SunStar Philippines)
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