The Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (303 IBde) awarded Military Commendation Medals to 33 soldiers and policemen who engaged Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels in a series of encounters in southern Negros last week.
The medals were conferred by Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of 303 IBde, to the soldiers and policemen in rites held at the 62nd Infantry Brigade (62IB) headquarters in Barangay Libas, Isabela town on Monday.
Awarded were sixteen soldiers of the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company and 17 policemen of the 6th Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 (RMFB-6) for demonstrating exemplary actions during the clashes against the communist rebels in the battalion’s area of operations.
Arevalo said he is glad to bestow awards to government troops for displaying offensive spirit.
“The only way to win this campaign is through offense. We will not win the campaign against the insurgents, we will not win against NPA if we are on defensive mode,” he added.
The awarding rites were witnessed by Lt. Col. Egberto Dacoscos, commander of 62IB; and Lt. Col. Leo Batiles, commander of RMFB-6.
During the encounter on the evening of Oct. 9, Pat. John Imedio Gallero Javier was slightly injured in a combat operation with Army soldiers in Sitio Basak, Barangay Tan-awan in Kabankalan City.
After a 15-minute gun battle, the estimated 10 communist rebels retreated.
Soldiers recovered a rifle grenade, two magazines of AK 47, 117 rounds of 7.62 live ammunition, and electrical wires for anti-personal mines, among others.
The encounter in Kabankalan followed the pursuit operations of troops from 31st Division Reconnaissance Company who fought with some 15 communist rebels in neighboring Himamaylan City last Sunday.
The CPP-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)