AFP honors 4th PHL Contingent to Golan Heights

March 2, 2012 10:24 am 

MANILA, March 1 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomed back the 333-strong Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights after nine months of deployment in the contested territory during ceremonies on Thursday at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

This contingent is in line with the AFP’s commitment to the United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts to maintain international peace and stability in the area.

The 4th contingent, which was the first-ever to be sent with an entire battalion as its core, was given the United Nations Service Medals for the accomplishment of its mission.

In a statement, the 4th contingent, led by the 76th Infantry Battalion commanding officer, Col. Cornelio H. Valencia, said that their deployment coincided with the Arab Spring that affected the United Nations Disengagement Force’s (UNDOF) Area of Limitation and Area of Separation due to a series of protests.

Protests on events like Nakba Day, which means “Day of the Catastrophe,” and ironically is the Arab commemoration of the creation of Israel; and Naksa Day that means “Day of the Setback,” which is the Arab commemoration of the Six Days War, also prompted the contingent to adopt an enhanced patrolling system and clear critical areas from landmine threats.

The AFP has been sending contingents to Golan Heights since November 2009 as part of the UNDOF, replacing Poland in forming the more than 1,000 peacekeeping units of the United Nations. (PNA) scs/JCA


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