ELEVEN soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division were recognized for their gallantry in fighting off members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Brigadier General Dinoh Dolina, 3ID commander, led the pinning of the Wounded Personnel Award medals on the soldiers last May 13, 2108.
Three of the 11 personnel are from the 61st Infantry Battalion. Sergeant Paolo Ogaro, Private First Class (PFC) Hans Christian Dela Cruz, and PFC John Anthony Barrientos were injured after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded at Barangay Caratagan, Calinog, Iloilo on May 5, 2018.
Suspected NPA rebels latched the IED on a branch of a tree.
Barrientos sustained shrapnel injuries on his hand, forehead, and left shoulder. Dela Cruz, on the other hand, was hit by shrapnel on the back of his body and left hand while Ogaro was wounded on his chest and head.
The other eight soldiers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion were honored after a scuffle with NPA members who allegedly planned to disrupt the Barangay and SK elections at Barangay Tan-awan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
The awardees are Sergeant Niño Nabaunag; PFCs Michael Bersana, Voltair Catamin, Angelito Banga, Kenneth Cerbo; and Privates Ryan Las Piñas, Joven Taghap, and John Daryle Delgado.
Dolina said the eleven soldiers are deserving of the commendation for their bravery and heroism, “for fighting fought not only for the people but also for defending peace and progress in the region.”
“They are the living proof that your Army in Central and Western Visayas are steadfast to their mandate of serving the people and securing the land,” he added.
Recently, two soldiers were also killed after an encounter with suspected NPA members in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
“We also express our deepest sympathy to the family of our Spearhead Troopers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving the Negrenses,” Dolina said.