TWENTY-FOUR people, including two policemen and five civilians, had been conferred honors for their contribution in the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province of Sulu.
Colonel Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said conferred with the Gold Cross Medal were First Lieutenant Rhoy Lanzar, Sergeant Winston Bunag, and Corporal Romie Sumopang, all from the 2nd Special Forces Battalion.
They were recognized for the successful conduct of special reconnaissance against five ASG bandits under sub-leader Angah Adjih on March 19 in the village of Upper Binuang, Talipao, Sulu.
Besana said that Gold Cross Medal was also awarded to Sergeant Junnel Cionelo of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) and Corporal Noriel Dela Cruz of the MBLT-1 for gallantry in action in a clash against the Abu Sayyaf bandits on March 17 in Simisa Island, Banguingui town.
He said an intelligence personnel was also conferred with Gold Cross Medal for his active participation in a special operation on February 24 to April 5 that led to the rescue of two Indonesian and a Malaysian hostages in Simisa Island, Banguigui.
Gold Cross Medal was also awarded to Captain Michael Jamesin Constantino, Corporal Leojun Amante, and Corporal Ariel Sanchez while Silver Cross Medal was conferred to Lieutenant Colonel Jooney Jay Businos, Sergeant Ronie Ebcas and three intelligence personnel for the successful conduct of offensives against 10 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by sub-leaders Angah Adjih and Jaber Susukan on March 9 in the village of Upper Binuang, Talipao.
Military Merit Medal with Bronze Spearhead Device to First Lieutenant Jhon Karl Cabello of the Army’s 3rd Scout Ranger Company and two policemen namely; Senior Master Sergeant Windsol Aguell and Patrolman Sherwin Garcia.
Plain Military Merit Medal was awarded to Captain Delfin Bolla and Second Lieutenant Yrral Bautista. Three members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) and two civilian employees of Joint Task Force Sulu were given Certificate of Appreciation.
Besana said the awarding ceremony was held Friday when Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, visited the headquarters of the Joint Task Force Sulu.
Dela Vega has commended the men and women of Joint Task Force Sulu for their relentless efforts in the conduct of focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf bandits. (SunStar Philippines)