AFP chief honors troops wounded in fight vs. BIFF

By Edwin Fernandez

July 9, 2018, 3:35 pm

<p><strong>HONORED.</strong> Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. delivers a speech at Camp Siongco, the headquarters of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in Barangay Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, on Saturday (July 7, 2018) after honoring fallen and wounded soldiers following fierce clashes last week with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the province. <em><strong>(Photo by 6ID)</strong></em></p>

HONORED. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. delivers a speech at Camp Siongco, the headquarters of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in Barangay Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, on Saturday (July 7, 2018) after honoring fallen and wounded soldiers following fierce clashes last week with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the province. (Photo by 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. honored soldiers wounded in action during the military campaign against the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.

Galvez, accompanied by Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, chief of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) based in Zamboanga city, visited the 6th Infantry Division's (6ID) infirmary here on Saturday,

During his visit, Galvez also received operational updates about the campaign against the BIFF and the communist New People's Army (NPA) in Central Mindanao.

Full military honors were accorded to Galvez upon his arrival, with the Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, 6ID commander, as military host. Galvez pinned combat medals to soldiers wounded in action during major clashes against the BIFF last week in Maguindanao.

Among the medals he awarded include the Wounded Personnel Medal, Military Merit Medal, and the Posthumous Gold Cross Medal, the third highest AFP combat medal.

Capt. Arvin John Encinas, 6ID spokesperson, said 2Lt. Junivert Zonio received the Posthumous Gold Cross Medal through his wife for gallantry in action while serving as platoon leader of Charlie Company of the 40th Infantry Battalion during one of the clashes with the BIFF.

With strong determination to accomplish his given mission while confronting the enemies, Zonio was fatally hit in action that resulted in his instantaneous death.

“Second Lt. Zonio fearlessly led his troops in advancing towards the enemy positions, unmindful of his personal safety and dauntlessly led his men and engaged the enemies in a fierce firefight,” Sobejana said.

Other awardees include Sergeants Roy Ramirez, Datukan Moday, and Cesar Pandeling; Privates First Class Jayson Sinahan, Manuel Catalan III, Albert Abao, Jimmy Talib, Diego Aristotle Benian, Arthuro Alberto Jr., Eddie Mallorca, R.C. Manangquil, Jerry John Quibuyen, Dexter Ryan Ponce; and Private Roy Mark Exiomo.

Encinas said other officers and personnel involved in the operations also received the “Military Merit Medal” for their heroic achievement.

Galvez said the wounded personnel deserved recognition, especially those who perished in defense of the country and the Filipino people.

"I am recognizing their exemplary courage in combat. I will make sure that they receive the support that they need while recuperating," he said. (PNA)

Comments