Phillipines’ President, Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday went to see the injured soldiers in a recent firefight with the militant Abu Sayyaf group.
At the Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Sulu, Duterte conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kampilan on 11 soldiers wounded during the May 31 encounter with the Abu Sayyaf forces at Barangay Pansul in Patikul, Sulu.
Recipients of the Order of Lapu-Lapu were Cpl. Arsenio Opaco Jr., Cpl. Sonny Jumoc, Pfc. Edwin Yurong, Pfc. Edeson Alom, Pfc. Abduhasad Baladji, Pcf. Joevertt Ramirez, Pvt. Dominic Osorio, Pvt. Jeric Peñaredondo, Pvt. Raymund Balambao, Pvt. Ramil Diaz Jr., and Pvt. Albert Daligdig.
Pfc. Haliboy Calapiz and Pfc. Dieth Sarabe, are two who sustained major injuries, were airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is conferred to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made excellent contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy.
Said Kampilan medal is given on persons who were utterly wounded or have suffered great loss of property as a direct result of their participation in such action.
The President bestowed asw well the Gold Cross Medal to Lt. Col. Abdulmoel Alamaia, Lt. Col. Ronaldo Amteo, 1st Lt. Romel Pacer, 1st Lt. Geronimo Vergara, Cpl. Ariel Sanchez, Cpl. Engelbert Tañan and Cpl. Reylan Busmeon.
Duterte also saw the donning of ranks to Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo and Brig. Gen. Andres Centino.
Duterte said in his speech that his camp visits are intended to distinguish the bravery of soldiers and boost their morale by ensuring his continued support.
“In the times that you need me as your commander-in-to be with you, beside you, and to die with you, I will be here on those moments,” the President stated in vernacular.
Duterte also vowed payment of soldiers’ hazard pays for the recent months.