BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID) has awarded Military Merit Medals to 117 soldiers and policemen for the successful operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) in central Negros in the past three months.
Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of 3ID, led the pinning rites during his separate visits on Wednesday at the headquarters of the 62nd and 94th Infantry Battalions (IB) in Isabela, Negros Occidental and Ayungon, Negros Oriental, respectively.
“The Army in Western and Central Visayas will not achieve this victory without the support and cooperation of the peace-loving people. In return, we will do our best to attain the peace and development we have longed for,” Arevalo said in a statement on Thursday.
Awarded were 45 troopers of 94IB and 10 personnel of the 2nd Negros Occidental Police Mobile Force Company for their “exemplary performance” during the series of encounters with the communist rebels in the cities of Kabankalan and Himamaylan in Negros Occidental.
On Jan. 9, the troops figured in a clash in Sitio Maliko-liko, Barangay Carabalan in Himamaylan City that left a rebel dead and led to the recovery of several high-powered firearms.
In Kabankalan City, NPA leader Ericson Acosta and comrade Joseph Jimenez were killed after they engaged government troops in Sitio Makilo, Barangay Camansi last Nov. 30.
Meanwhile, 62 soldiers of 62IB, including four officers and 58 enlisted personnel, also received medals for their “exemplary performance and heroic achievements” in five encounters between November 2022 and January 2023.
Four personnel received three medals each while 13 others were awarded two medals each. The other 45 soldiers got one medal each.
The encounters resulted in four enemies killed and the recovery of six high-powered firearms, four-low powered firearms, assorted ammunition, war materiel, and documents with high intelligence value, the 62IB added. (PNA)