President Rodrigo Duterte during his brief visit at the 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan City on June 19 sees the end of insurgency in the region. Photo shows the President giving award and assistance to families of slain soldiers in ambush incidents against NPA members. (Photo: VICENTE LUKBAN)

Praised soldiers for their gallantry and heroism


TACLOBAN CITY- President Rodrigo Duterte sees that the insurgency problem that has been plaguing the region for decades will soon come to its end.
As he made this projection, the President issued an appeal to the members of the rebel group, the New People’s Army (NPA), for them to surrender and return to the folds of the law.
Mr. Duterte made a quick visit at the headquarters of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City on Wednesday (June 19) night.
And part of his visit was the giving of medal of valor and posthumous awards to soldiers who were injured and killed during ambuscades against NPA members.
In his talks with the soldiers, led by their commanding general, Major Gen. Raul Farnacio, the President said that he sees the end of the insurgency in the region as he praised the soldiers for their continued effort to quell the insurgency problem.
“With such valiant troops in the service of flag and country, I am confident that we can end the communist-terrorist scourge here in Region 8 sooner than later,” the President said in his speech.
“This is why, I encourage the remaining rebels to repudiate your outdated ideology, abandon your extremist activities, and return to the fold of the law,” he added.
Region 8, among the country’s poorest regions, continue to battle with insurgency problem with former commanders of the 8th ID making a promise to end the problem cited to be one of the reasons why investors shy away in coming to the region.
Mr. Duterte, in his speech, said that the soldiers could count on him as he vowed to support them and even promised to provide them more incentives and benefits as they continue to defend the country’s security against the insurgents and other rebel groups.
“This administration will work hard to meet all of your needs and that of your families, and all I ask is that you perform your responsibilities to the best of your abilities. It is now, more than ever, that we need to work hard and work together, if we are to bring the real, lasting, and meaningful change for the country,” the President said.
The second visit of the President to the 8th ID camp, was closed to the media. He first visited the military camp on August 9, 2016.
Captain Raul Aragones, spokesperson of the 8th ID, said that the President arrived at the camp at about 6:30 pm and stayed until 7:45 pm.
He was accompanied by Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and former close aide and now Senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go.
The President immediately proceeded to the Camp Lukban Station Hospital to posthumously award the Order of Lapu-Lapu to five soldiers who died due to arm clashes against members of the rebel group, the New People’s Army.
The award were received by the relatives of the killed soldiers.
Mr. Duterte also pinned the rank of Kampilan medals to nine soldiers who were wounded in armed battle against the rebels.
Aragones declined to provide the names of the soldiers killed and wounded who were recognized by the President.
But the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), on its website, identified the recipients of the Order of Lapu-Lapu as Corporal Roberto Bueno; Corporal Alix Saliwan; Private First Class Danilo Constantino, Jr; Private First Class Arthur Garcia; and Private Elben Lagrimas.
Those who received the Kampilan medals were Corporal Eduardo Vigilia, Jr.; Cpl. Mark Lester Amparo; Private First Class Joseph Salinga; PFC Mark Louie Lantecsi; PFC Mark Kevin Frigillana; PFC Joemar Glenn Seligbon; Private Delio Amaro; Pvt Joseph Renel Gentalian and Pvt Rex Español.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is given to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign of advocacy.
The Kampilan medal, meanwhile, is bestowed to persons who were seriously wounded or suffered great loss of property as a direct result of their participation in such action.