EXEMPLARY. Members of the 1st Infantry Division award the Wounded Personnel Medal on Thursday to Private First Class John Mark Grande (4th from left), one of two soldiers who sustained injuries when they gallantly took on New People’s Army rebels in Zamboanga del Norte the day before. Grande is recuperating at Camp Maj. Cesar Sang-an Station Hospital in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. (Photo courtesy of 1ID-PAO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Army’s 1st Infantry Division (ID) awarded two soldiers for gallantry in action against the New People’s Army (NPA) in Zamboanga del Norte.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, 1ID commander, pinned the Wounded Personnel Medal on Private First Class (PFC) John Mark Grande of the 97th Infantry Battalion (IB) while confined at the Camp Maj. Cesar Sang-an Station Hospital in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on Thursday.

The other wounded soldier of the 97IB, whose name was not yet known as of posting time, is confined at the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Hospital in Dipolog City.

He was hit on the left leg and is waiting for his X-ray result.

The Wounded Personnel Medal is awarded to those hurt in action against an enemy of the country or as a direct result of an act of the enemy and those who displayed bravery, professionalism, and heroism in the performance of their duty.

Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, 97IB commander, said the two were wounded during a clash with about 12 NPA rebels on Wednesday in Purok 4, Barangay Bagumbayan in Sergio Osmeña Sr. town.

The rebels were in the same group that the 97IB and 42IB troops encountered on July 4 and 30, and on Aug. 10 when a militiaman was wounded.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)