By Luis Eli San Jose
Pili, Camarines Sur --- Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Battalion involved in the recent encounter with New People’s Army rebels were awarded for their gallantry in action, courage, dedication and commitment to duty.
The awards were given by the Philippine Army’s 9th Infantry Division in the encounter site in Barangay Talisay, San Fernando, Ticao Island in the province of Masbate last Saturday, March 17.
It can be recalled that on March 15, the troops were able to engage 15 members of Larangan 1, Komiteng Probinsya 4 of Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC) that led to the seizure of 11 high-powered firearms, assorted ammunition, grenades, unexploded ordnances, cell phones, laptop, boat engines, personal belongings and subversive documents belonging to the rebels.
Also included in the confiscated items from the NPA terrorists were a motorized boat and several bancas believed to be used by the armed group in their mobile clandestine operations.
No less than the army commander in Bicol, Maj. Gen. Jesus A. Manangquil, Jr. AFP, accorded the awards during his visit to the encounter site to personally supervise the troops conducting their pursuit operation.
He congratulated the troops for their gallantry which truly reflects the character of a dedicated Spear Trooper.
The simple awarding ceremony became more meaningful after it was reported that a certain Joey Fajardo, the secretary of the NPA’s BRPC, was killed in a separate anti-insurgency operation conducted in Naga City (see related story).
With the recent accomplishments, the Command vowed that combat operations will be further strengthened to hunt down the remaining communist terrorists in the region.
The Army command once again calls out for the support and cooperation of everyone in addressing the issues and concerns of the people vulnerable to the influence of the enemy.