President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday conferred the Order of Lakandula, Rank of Kampilan, on 10 soldiers and three policemen injured in separate clashes with the Abu Sayyaf Group during his visit at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Sulu.
The soldiers and policemen were wounded during the December 4 ambush and December 7 encounter both in Patikul, Sulu.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kampilan is bestowed upon individuals who were seriously wounded or suffered great loss of property as a result of their participation in activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.
Those who received the award were 1Lt. Vergara D. Geronimo, Sgt. Vicente Calvin O. Belino Jr., Cpl. Ariel H. Gormonit, Cpl. Cornelio G. Olandag, Pfc. Albert C. Aras, Pfc. Jezzer S. Ea, Pfc. Jay-Arr D. Redula, Pfc. Francis M. Ybañez, Pfc. John Carlo C. Casintahan, Pfc. Glenn C. Acayan, PSMS Adil A. Salamat, PCMS Abdulmuidz S. Marajani and PCpl. Halkim A. Ibno.
The President also expressed his gratitude to the members of 11th Infantry Division stationed at Camp Teodulfo Bautista for their efforts and sacrifices to secure the country against the Islamist militants.
“To our brave soldiers who are with us today, you are here because you have answered the call to serve your nation by ensuring peaceful and safe communities for all,” President Duterte said.
“We thank you for risking your lives to protect us from elements that threaten the security of our country,” he added.
The President likewise praised the accomplishments of the Alakdan Division in its fight against the Abu Sayyaf Group in recent months, adding the campaign resulted in significant strides towards crushing the ASG.
Despite the risks, the division remained intact and had shown extraordinary determination to carry on with its mission, the President said, adding the division’s dedication and fighting spirit have been a source of inspiration.
“As your Commander-in-Chief, I move forward with you as we advance the common good and promote the security of our nation,” he noted.
The President said that with the 11th ID’s continued support and commitment, terrorists and all those plotting to bring the country down will not succeed. PND