by Francis Wakefield
President Duterte honored over the weekend 12 wounded soldiers with the Wounded Personnel Medal Award during his visit to Sulu for their gallantry in combating extremism and terrorism in the western part of Mindanao.
The President was accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año, Col. Cirilito Sobejana, the commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, and other senior military commanders during the awarding at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital, AFPMC Jolo, Sulu.
The President commended the dauntlessness of the soldiers who belong to the 41st Infantry Battalion under the Joint Task Force Sulu in wiping out the Maute-ISIS in the urban jungle of Marawi City.
The soldiers were also appreciated for their outstanding contribution to our nation’s fight against terrorism, illegal drugs, and criminality. Aside from the merit, the President also gave the soldiers cellular phones, wrist watches, and Cal .45 pistol each.
“We commend our soldiers for their bravery even if they are facing a very difficult fight against Maute-ISIS in Marawi City. Even with the complexities of the battle, they showed unrelenting passion and determination days and nights to wipe out and gain initial advantages against the enemy,” said AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief Col. Edgard Arevalo.
The officials in Sulu province also felt elated by the support and attention of the commander-in-chief to the soldiers.
Arevalo said the president’s personal visit with them would surely help boost the morale of the troops in their fight against terrorists in Marawi.
Meanwhile, the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers (AFAD) Philippines handed over the weekend a check amounting to P500, 000 during the AFAD Defense and Sporting Arms Show at a mall in Mandaluyong City on Monday.
No less than AFP chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año accepted the check from AFAD president Jethro T Dionisio.
Arevalo said AFAD Philippines also donated 1,000 packages of basic clothing supplies for soldiers operating in Marawi City.
General Año was accompanied by Maj. Gen Job Yucoco, deputy chief of staff (DCS) for Logistics, J4; Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, DCS for Civil-Military Operations, J7; Maj. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista, commander, Civil Relations Service. AFP; Maj. Gen. Elvin Velasco, DCS for Education and Training, J8; Brig. Gen. Arnel Duco, DCS for Personnel, J1; Brig. Gen Isidro Purisima, DCS for Operations, J3; and Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief, Public Affairs Office, AFP.
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