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Arroyo to decorate cops, soldiers in Central Mindanao

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:01:00 09/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will confer medals and cash awards on soldiers and policemen who figured in offensives against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Central Mindanao, Malacañang said.

Arroyo is also set to interact with the troops after the awarding ceremonies at the 104th Brigade Headquarters in Iligan City Thursday afternoon, according to a Palace statement.

The awards are “in recognition of their [soldiers’ and policemen’s] bravery and heroism” as the government goes after “lawless” MILF members, led by commanders Ameril Ombra Kato and Abdullah Macapaar alias Bravo, it said.

Arroyo will also give sleeping bags and cellular phone cards to the troops.

Arroyo will confer the Gold Cross Medal, the third highest combat honor in the military, to First Lieutenant Marlon Jauod and Corporal Elwin Bandiala, who took part in an encounter that led to fall of the MILF’s Camp Bilal and the killing of 14 rebels, the statement said.

The Gold Cross will be awarded posthumously to Privates First Class Nurhaim Sarijan and Jun Blancia. Their wives, who will receive the awards, will also each receive a P250,000 special cash assistance, the statement said.

Bronze Cross medals will be awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Jose Faustino, Jr., First Lieutenant John Robert H. Lee, First Lieutenant Francisco Buth B. Ganzado, Technical Sergeant Noel Andaleon, Staff Sergeant Romeo S. Galay, Air Force Captain Christopher B. Pablo, and Army militiaman Aldwin Molina, the statement said.

Army Second Lieutenant Rommel N. Corpuz will be awarded the Military Merit medal with Bronze Spearhead Device, it said.

Four Army privates who sustained minor injuries will be awarded P50,000 financial assistance each. They are: Philip Larese, Salvador E. Zapanta, Jhun J. Hajiri, Rodel D. Umban, it said.

Seven policemen who encountered MILF forces in Kolambugan town, Lanao del Norte province, will be awarded the Medalya ng Kagitingan. They are: Inspector Jonathan l. Astillero and Police Officers Camilo F. Matos, Cerilo Escorial, Roberto B. Piloton, Edgar B. Opo, Fernando A. Lobo, and Arnel L. Aquino.

A posthumous award will also be conferred on Police Officer Dexter Salvacion, who was killed in the Lanao del Norte attacks.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-09-18T09:31:23+00:00UTC09bUTCThu, 18 Sep 2008 09:31:23 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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