MANILA A total of 16 military and two civilian personnel were recognized Monday for their efforts in the five-month battle to free Marawi City from the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group terrorists last year.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, said the awards were presented during the flag-raising ceremony at the AFP Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, which was spearheaded by AFP Chief-of-Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr.
"This Monday morning's flag-raising ceremony is made more special with the presence of our fellow soldiers, who have brought great honor and pride through their commendable service, not only to the organization, but to the whole nation as well, Galvez said.
Awarded with the Gold Cross Medal were Major Ryedel Reynaldo C. Cabugon, 1st Lt. Brian B. Palencia, Pfc. Enrique B. Macinas and Pfc. Dondon M. Onsar, all from the Philippine Army (PA); Major Michael G. Rabina, Staff Sgt. Ronaldo A. Suarez, and Staff Sgt. Glenn B. Grafa all from the Philippine Air Force (PAF); and 1st Lt. George N. Galzote and 1st Lt. Jobert D. Jude, both from the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC).
Decorated with the Silver Cross Medal was Lt. Col. Francis Julius B. Buyucan of the Philippine Marines.
The Meritorious Achievement Medal was presented to Col. Ferdinand L. Torres of the PAF, Col. Consolito P. Yecla, Col. Alex S. Rillera, Lt. Col. Edgardo V. Talaroc Jr., and Major Benjamin D. Cadiente Jr., all from the PA.
Meanwhile, Col. Raul V. Bautista of the PA received the Command Plaque while civilian employees at the AFP general headquarters, Emma B. Sicar, and Kyle Kristoffer S. Salongcay, were awarded the Chief of Staff Commendation Medal.
Nothing gives me more fulfillment than to join our soldiers in celebrating their moments of triumphs, such as today. It brings me so much pride and joy to witness our men and women humbly accept the products of their selflessness, commitment, dedication and perseverance, Galvez said.
Detoyato said majority of the awardees made significant contributions to the successful liberation of Marawi from the Maute terrorists last year, whether in combat or non-combat operations.
Other recipients performed outstandingly in policy development, contributing to the systems advancement of the organization.
The sacrifices of the Filipino soldiers and civilian human resource are aplenty, and a simple recognition could mean so much to them. True to what they say, no one can defeat an inspired heart and soul, Galvez added. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency