BAGUIO CITY/CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, GAMU, Isabela — The 5th Infantry division, Philippine Army (5ID-PA) based in this town July 10 — Four soldiers belonging to the 5th Infantry Division (5ID) were awarded the “medalya ng sugatang magiting na kawal” (wounded personnel medal) by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for their continuing fight to secure the residents against terror groups, the AFP said on Monday.
Major General Paul Atal, commanding officer of the 5ID led the awarding done together with the Joint Task Force “TALA” for Sergeant Joselito P. Felipe, of Isabela province; Private First Class (PFC) John Cris M. Dangatag of Kalinga; PFC Richard A. Panga-or, of Mt Province and Private Henry B. Camacho of Isabela. The four were wounded in action in an encounter with 20 New Peoples Army (NPA) rebels last July 4.
Aside from a medal, the four also received PHP5,000 as financial assistance from Star Fund (Star Trooper Active Relief Fund).
Atal lauded the four for their bravery and truthfulness to the service. He also lauded the other 50IB personnel who are on the mountains continuing the military operation.
“You are heroes who should be emulated. Your having been wounded in action is a challenge for you to continue serving the nation,” Atal said.
He also urged the soldiers to continue trusting in the Lord and ask for guidance for a new life.
Captain Jefferson Somera, chief of the Community Relations Service of the 5ID said operatives of the 50th Infantry Battalion (50IB) had an encounter with the NPAs in Barangay Balatoc, Pasil, Kalinga. “The four were wounded while performing their duty and showing their bravery.”
Somera reported that prior to the mentioned encounter, the same operatives also had a firefight with NPA rebels in Brgy Wagud, Pinukpuk, Kalinga town where they recovered a Caliber .30 US Carbine, two magazine and four homemade landmines after the rebels retreated from the scene.
The awarding of medal and relief cash assistance was made at the Camp Melchor Dela Cruz Station Hospital over weekend where the wounded soldiers were confined.
The 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army is based in Gamu, Isabela. Liza Agoot/MGEdale PNA-northboundasia.com