Westmincom honors troops in Lanao Sur clash

By Nef Luczon

January 31, 2024, 5:25 pm

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) gave honors to troopers of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion under the 103rd Infantry Brigade who survived the recent encounter against Moro extremists in Lanao del Sur.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Westmincom said it awarded the Military Merit Medal interim to Distinguished Conduct Star to 1st Lt. Allan Kenny Manuel, and Private First Class Mark John Culaway for "acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry in action while serving as the platoon leader."

Second Lt. Feljoy Ending was also given the same medal citation.

Manuel and Caluway were ground commanders and lead scouts of the assaulting team during a series of encounters against the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group (DI-MG).

The DI-MG, comprising at least 15 armed men, was led by Arsani Membisa in Barangay Taporog, Piagapo, Lanao del Sur on Jan. 26, during the encounter with the troops.

Eleven other members of the military force were awarded the Military Merit Medal interim to Gold Cross Medal for their role in deliberate operations against the DI-MG.

Westmincom commander, Lt. Gen. William Gonzales, said the unwavering courage and uncommon self-sacrifice of Manuel and his team were instrumental in the neutralization of nine DI-MG combatants.

Gonzales also visited and conferred medals to the injured troops in a hospital in Iligan City. “My salute goes to our valiant soldiers who dedicate their lives to serve and protect the people amid all adversaries,” he said. (PNA)