4 wounded soldiers recognized for bravery

December 16, 2012 11:24 am 

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 15 — Four Army soldiers who were wounded in Friday's encounter with a group of heavily- armed New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a central Negros Occidental town were given recognition for bravery Saturday.

Maj. Enrico Gil Ileto, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division based in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz, said no less than the 3ID commanding general, Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta, awarded the Armed Forces of the Philippines Wounded Personnel Medal to 1Lt. Shamon Pamitan, Sgt. Romeo B. Castillano, Pfc. Justino Esquibel Jr. and Pfc. Nesty Deniega at their hospital bed at the Riverside Hospital in Bacolod City.

Ileto said the AFP Wounded Personnel Medal is granted to soldiers wounded in action against the country's enemy or as a direct result of an act of the enemy.

Apart from the medal, the wounded soldiers also received P20,000 cash benefit.

“Our soldiers' morale and welfare is our primary concern, and we are instituting means and ways, together with the nearest civilian medical facility in Western Visayas, to immediately assist wounded soldiers in the battlefield,” Mabanta said.

The four wounded soldiers were among the members of the 11th Infantry Battalion’s Alpha Company who clashed with more than 30 NPA rebels at around 8 a.m. Friday in Sitio Mahopato, Barangay San Agustin, Isabela, Negros Occidental. Two soldiers and two rebels were killed in the firefight.

Apart from the rebel fatalities, the government soldiers captured 19 suspected rebels in the encounter site.

The soldiers also recovered eight combat packs containing a .45 caliber pistol with two magazines loaded with live ammunition and magazines of M14 and M16 Armalite rifles, subversive documents and personal belongings left behind by the rebels as they abandoned their encampment in the area.

1Lt. Von Ryan Gomez, who led the soldiers in the conduct of internal security patrol operation in the area, said he believed that the fleeing enemy also suffered several wounded cadres.

Meanwhile, the captured rebels have been turned over to the custody of the Isabela Philippine National Police for investigation, military authorities are determined to file murder charges against them for the death of two soldiers and wounding of four others. (PNA)

SCS/AJP/VLORQUIOLA/VLO

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