Both military and civilian individuals dubbed as ‘Herculean Heroes’ received awards at 11th Infantry Division Headquarters in Jolo, Sulu. Western Mindanao Command Chief LtGen Corleto S Vinluan Jr and Joint Task Force – Sulu Commander MGen William N Gonzales led the formal awarding of 78 civilian responders, 17 government and non-government organizations, 21 military personnel, 27 CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA).
Per LtGen Vinluan, he opted to formalize the commendation of the responders as their actions clearly exemplify the spirit of bayanihan. “Ang kalunos-lunos na pangyayari ay nagdulot ng paghihinagpis lalo sa mga pamilyang nawalan ng mahal sa buhay. Ngunit sa kabilang banda ang pangyayaring ito ay nagbigay ng oportunidad upang makita ng buong mundo ang mga bagong bayani. Ang aksidenteng ito ay nagpapatunay na buhay pa rin ang diwa ng bayanihan at malasakit sa kapwa.”
Bronze Cross Medals, a medal awarded for heroism involving risk of life, were given to a total of 48 individuals to include both regular military men and CAAs. “Itong mga CAA ay nakaduty sa 5th Special Forces Company. Ilang segundo pa lang nandoon na sila sa crash site para tumulong. Yung mga sundalo naman nating nakatanggap ng award ay galing sa iba’t-ibang unit kabilang na ang 45th Infantry Battalion, Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital,” said MGen Gonzales.
Further, MGen Gonzales stated that more military personnel will be receiving medals based on their respective notable deeds in relation to saving lives during the C-130 mishap. “Napakarami nagtulungan noong araw na iyon. Kahit iyong mga wala sa mismong area, nakatulong pa rin one way or another para makapag-salba ng buhay. Ang maganda sa araw na ito, nabigyan ng recognition ang mga kababayan nating sibilyan.”
Erham Awaluddin who became well known for saving Pfc Ganney Ligayan received the Award of Chief of Staff, AFP Commendation and Ribbon, for having rendered exceptional assistance for AFP while responding to the ill-fated C-130 aircraft. Erham, CAA Benhar Awaluddin, CAA Sharief Abridge Abdua and CAA Madzkur Sahibon, MGen Gonzales visited injured soldiers at Camp Navarro Camp Navarro General Hospital and Zamboanga City Medical Center last Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
Also present during yesterday’s event were Sulu Governor Abdusakur M Tan represented by Provincial Administrator Mr Erwin Tan, Patikul Mayor Kabir Hayudini, Sulu PNP Chief PCol Michael Bawayan Jr, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Chief Mr Julkipli Ahijon Jr. and Barangay Chairperson of Brgy San Raymundo Hon Amelyn I Tan, Brgy Busbus Hon Almaida A Undog, and Brgy Bangkal Hon Tanda S Hailid. The four along with 13 others received plaques of appreciation for their respective office’s assistance extended during the conduct of search and rescue operations. JOINT TASK FORCE SULU