THE Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has awarded medals to 13 soldiers, including two officers, for gallantry in action that resulted in the death of nine Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group (DI-MG) members in Lanao del Sur, the Westmincom said Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
Lieutenant General William Gonzales, commander of Westmincom, conferred medals to the personnel of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion during his visit to the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi City on Monday, January 29.
The Westmincom information office said a Military Merit Medal interim to Distinguished Conduct Star was awarded to First Lieutenant Allan Kenny Manuel and Private First Class Mark John Culaway for acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry in action while serving as the platoon leader, ground commanders and lead scout of the assaulting team during series of clashes against more or less 15 DI-MG members under Arsani Membisa, with aliases of Khatab and Lapitos, in Barangay Taporog, Piagapo, Lanao del Sur on Friday, January 26.
A similar medal was also awarded to Second Lieutenant Feljoy Ending, the Westmincom said.
A Military Merit Medal interim to Gold Cross Medal was awarded to 11 other soldiers who were part of the operating force during the conduct of deliberate operations against the DI-MG.
The Westmincom said the unwavering courage and uncommon self-sacrifice of Manuel and his team were instrumental in the neutralization of nine DI-MG members identified as Saumay Saiden alias Ustadz Omar; Salman alias Mikdad; Abdul Hadi alais Hodi Imam; Lacson Timbang alias Abdullah; King Fahad Dalig Untie alias Muhajeer; Asnawi Mael alias Hamza; alias Mauwiyah; and, alias Mohaimen.
The troops also recovered eight high-powered firearms, one bandolier, four Baofeng radios, and one smartphone.
Gonzales also visited and conferred medals to the four injured soldiers who are recuperating in a hospital in Iligan City.
“My salute goes to our valiant soldiers who dedicate their lives to serve and protect the people amid all adversaries,” Gonzales said. (SunStar Zamboanga)