SIXTEEN soldiers and 17 policemen received medals for demonstrating exemplary actions during encounters against the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area of operations of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB).
Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, Brigade Commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, pinned them the Military Commendation Medals (MCM) during the awarding rites held at the 62IB Headquarters in Barangay Libas, Isabela, Negros Occidental, Monday, October 14.
It can be recalled that an encounter occurred on October 6 between 31st Division Reconnaissance Company (31DRC) troops and more or less 15 NPA- terrorists at Sitio Bugo, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.
The said encounter resulted in the killing of two NPA terrorists and the recovery of assorted firearms, ammunitions and other war materials.
Another encounter transpired last October 9 between a joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Combat Operations of 62IB and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 (RMFB6) with more or less 10 NPA-terrorists at Sitio Basak, Barangay Tan-awan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
The said encounter resulted in the killing of an NPA terrorist and the recovery of firearms, ammunitions and other war materials, and personal belongings. One policeman was wounded during the encounter.
Also present in the activity were Lieutenant Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, Battalion Commander of 62IB, and Police Lieutenant Colonel Leo Batiles, Battalion Commander of RMFB6, who assisted Brigadier General Arevalo in pinning the awards.
“The only way to win in this campaign is thru offense. We will not win the campaign against the insurgents, we will not win against NPAs if we are on defensive mode. So, the only way to win is go on offensive mode," Arevalo said.
"I am happy this morning to be awarding our troops for their offensive spirit displayed during encounters for the past weeks," he added.
This is the 5th time for troops of 62IB to receive medals from Arevalo since he assumed command on October 29, 2018.
As of Tuesday, a total of 285 medals were given to infantry battalions and police units under the supervision of the 303rd Infantry Brigade for successful encounters against NPA terrorists in Negros Occidental.
The awarding was followed by a traditional military "boodle fight" as a simple celebration of the said accomplishment.