Soldiers, cops, civilians recognized in campaign vs. ASG bandits

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

April 27, 2019, 8:50 am

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, awards medal to soldiers, policemen and civilians for their contribution in focused military operation against the Abu Sayyaf Group bandits in Sulu Friday ,April 26. (Photo courtesy of Westmincom Public Information Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has honored 24 individuals--including two policemen and five civilians--for their contribution in the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Sulu.

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, led the awarding ceremony held Friday at the headquarters of the Joint Task Force Sulu in Camp Gen. Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo, Sulu.

Col. Gerry Besana, Westmincom information officer, said Westmincom conferred the Gold Cross Medal to 1Lt. Rhoy Lanzar, Sgt. Winston Bunag, and Cpl. Romie Sumopang, all of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion.

Besana said they were recognized for the successful special reconnaissance operation against five ASG bandits under sub-leader Angah Adjih on March 19 in Barangay Upper Binuang, Talipao, Sulu.

Besana said that Gold Cross Medal was also awarded to Sgt. Junnel Cionelo of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) and Cpl. Noriel Dela Cruz of the MBLT-1 for gallantry in action.

He said an intelligence operative was also conferred with Gold Cross Medal for his active participation in a special operation on February 24 to April 5 that led to the rescue of two Indonesians and a Malaysian hostage in Simisa Island, Banguigui.

Gold Cross Medal was also awarded to Capt. Michael Jameson Constantino, Cpl. Leojun Amante, and Cpl. Ariel Sanchez while Silver Cross Medal was conferred to Lt. Col. Jooney Jay Businos, Sgt. Ronie Ebcas and three intelligence personnel for the successful conduct of offensives against 10 ASG bandits led by sub-leaders Angah Adjih and Jaber Susukan on March 9 in Barangay Upper Binuang, Talipao.

Dela Vega also awarded the Military Merit Medal with Bronze Spearhead Device to 1Lt. Jhon Karl Cabello of the Army’s 3rd Scout Ranger Company and two policemen namely; Senior Master Sergeant Windsol Aguell and Patrolman Sherwin Garcia.

Plain Military Merit Medal was awarded to Capt. Delfin Bolla and 2Lt. Yrral Bautista.

Three members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) and two civilian employees of Joint Task Force Sulu were also given certificates of appreciation.

Dela Vega commended the men and women of Joint Task Force Sulu for their "relentless efforts in the conduct of focused military operations" against the ASG bandits. (PNA)