ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Philippine Army has awarded medals to 9 soldiers who took part in defending Zamboanga City from separatist rebels in September, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Captain Jefferson Somera, of the 1st Infantry Division, said the soldiers displayed gallantry in action during the Zamboanga crisis. They were awarded Gold Cross, Bronze Cross and Wounded Personnel medals during a simple ceremony at the army headquarters in Labangan town in Zamboanga del Sur province.
He said the Gold Cross Medals–the third highest medal for gallantry in combat–were awarded to First Lieutenant Robert Martin Dimailig, Sergeant George Neri, Corporals Sajack Alam and Ramil Castillon.
The Bronze Cross Medals went to Technical Sergeant Eduardo Abog, Staff Sergeant Thuaheron Pangulima, Sergeants Kashir Hussin and Manuel Suarez Jr, and the Wounded Personnel Medal was given to Sergeant Freddie Centenales.
Somera said Brigadier General Felicito Virgilio Trinidad Jr, the commander of 1st Infantry Division, led the pining of the medals.
“The heroism and gallantry displayed by these soldiers during the Zamboanga City siege have been seen and known far beyond the four corners of our Command. Their deeds speak the nature of a fine Tabak trooper- brave, professional and always ready to serve our countrymen. We should always carry these principles in all our undertakings, for our Command, for our family and for every Filipino people,” Somera quoted Trinidad as saying during the ceremony.
Troops liberated Zamboanga City from hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front rebels who simultaneously attack several villages. The fighting, which lasted three weeks, left more than 400 people dead and wounded. Al Jacinto