Major General Jet Velarmino, commander of the Philippine Army 8th Infantry Division, pins a medal on one of the wounded soldiers of the Las Navas clash. (Photo by 8th ID, PA)

Five soldiers receive medals and cash assistance for bravery

Catbalogan News – The commander of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army here has awarded five soldiers with commendation medals for their bravery during a recent encounter with New People’s Army guerrillas.

The five soldiers were all wounded in action during the 15 June 2014 encounter in Las Navas, Northern Samar, that left one rebel dead and the recovery of a hand grenade as well as an improvised explosive device or IED.

Awarded with the Wounded Personnel Medal were army Corporal Manrico Mercader, Corporal Mark Dañosos, Private First Class Anthony Mangallon, Private First Class Edison Dacanay and Private First Class Manuelito Baldelobar.

All soldiers belonged to the Philippine Army’s 20th Infantry ‘We Lead’ Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division based at Barangay Tambangan in Palapag, Northern Samar.

Major General Jet Velarmino pinned the medals on the recovering soldiers in simple ceremonies held at the Camp Lucban Station Hospital in Catbalogan, Samar.

Aside from the medals the wounded soldiers are also set to receive cash assistance from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They also received some groceries from the 8th Infantry Division command.

‘Your bravery in carrying out your assigned task is remarkable and worth emulating by other soldiers. With that, I would like to extend my congratulations to all of you for a job well done in protecting the people to the extent of risking your lives’, said General Velarmino as he honoured the soldiers.

There has been a slow but notable increase in NPA activity in the Northern Samar region in recent months.