FOURTEEN soldiers were awarded medal by the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) as they valiantly fought recently against the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province of Sulu.
Colonel Gerry Besana, Westmincom information officer, said Wednesday, June 5, that the awardee-soldiers belong to the Army's 11th Infantry Division based in Sulu.
Besana said they ferociously engaged in more than an hour firefight against the Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Radullan Sahiron on May 31 in the village of Pansul, Patikul, Sulu.
Besana said the soldiers were awarded Wounded Personnel Medal (WPM) by Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, who visited them Tuesday, June 4, at Camp General Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo, Sulu.
The WPM awardees are Corporal Arsenio Upaco Jr., Corporal Sonny Jumoc, Private First Class Dietherben Rabe, Private Frist Class Harry Boy Calapiz, Private First Class Abduhasad Bakadji, Private First Class Edwin Yurong, Private First Class Joevert Ramirez, Private First Class Edison Alom, Private Albert Daligdig, Private Dominic Osorio, Private Jeric Peñaredondo, Private Ramil Diaz Jr., Private Chovie Mar Almodel, and Private Ramord Balambao.
"The series of focused and deliberate operations debilitated the manpower and strength of Abu Sayyaf militants who are unable to endure long and successive battles initiated by the Joint Task Force Sulu in known bailiwicks of terrorists," Dela Vega said.
"Just like other personnel who were wounded in our previous operations, I congratulate you for doing your part in the accomplishment of our mission. By this time, we have no high-profile kidnap victim so we can sustain our momentum and defeat the Abu Sayyaf. Remain focused and employ whatever you learned from our previous offensives to ensure your safety," he added. (SunStar Philippines)