President Rodrigo Duterte has conferred a Gold Cross medal to the slain 2nd Lt. Estelito Saldua Jr. who was killed by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in a clash in Inabanga, Bohol six days ago.
The President recognized Saldua’s sacrifice for the country upon his arrival from a weeklong state visit to the Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
He conferred Saldua’s posthumous award in the latter’s residence in San Jose, Batangas.
In a statement released by the Palace, the President is said to have comforted the bereaved parents (Gina and Estelito) of the 23-year-old Saldua and the slain soldier’s siblings.
The President provided the Saldua family with financial assistance and a mobile phone through which the family could call him anytime about “problems” they may be facing.
Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas granted scholarships up to the college level to the other three siblings of the fallen Saldua.
Saldua is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinaglahi Class of 2015. LLANESCA T. PANTI