BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Fifty-three Army soldiers and a Cafgu Active Auxiliary member have been awarded with Military Merit Medals with Bronze Spearhead Device by Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander, on April 25 in a series of awarding rites held in Isabela and Cauayan, Negros Occidental, for successful operations against the New People’s Army in Negros Island.
Of the awardees, 20 are members of the 62nd Infantry Battalion, including two military officers who figured in an encounter with about 24 suspected members of the New People’s Army in Brgy. Sandayao, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
The fleeing rebels left behind an R4 automatic assault rifle with a short magazine containing seven ammunition, a KG-9 sub machine gun with a magazine containing five ammunition, assorted food stuff, a back pack containing personal belongings, a sack of charcoal, a solar panel, two hammocks, a CPP-NPA flag, two pairs of rain boots and subversive documents.
No Army soldiers were injured during the gun battle.
Arevalo also conferred a similar medal for 33 soldiers of the 15th Infantry Battalion and a CAFGU member for bravery during an encounter with another group of communist rebels on April 19 in Sitio Bajay, Brgy. Caliling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental.
The encounter resulted in the killing of a suspected squad leader of the NPA under the South West Front and the recovery of a M4 carbine assault rifle, among other war materials and personal belongings.
In a statement issued by 3ID Public Affairs Office, Arevalo recognized the strategies of the 62nd and 15th Infantry Battalions in finding ways to locate and hit the enemy, which led to another triumph of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.
By giving an award, he said the troops will be inspired and motivated to perform their task even beyond their line of duty.
“I know the feeling of being awarded. You are prepared to be lucky, because luck favors the prepared. We are hoping that there will be more accomplishments and more awarding ceremony in the future, as we further contribute in ending insurgency in this part of the country,” he added.*