AFP fetes 3 soldiers named among Metrobank awardees

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    A MARINE officer who led a platoon that killed Abu Sayyaf chief Khadaffy Janjalani in 2006 is among this year’s three outstanding Filipino soldiers selected by the Metrobank Foundation.

    Maj. Romulo Dimayuga and two other awardees – Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar and M/Sgt. Ramil Caporas – were presented yesterday during rites at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.

    Armed Forces chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. congratulated the three for having been selected as recipients of this year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos-Award for Soldiers.

    “You have proven your diligence and perseverance for the advancement of our country and our fellow men through the simple yet extraordinary achievements in the performance of your duties,” Madrigal said.

    The awardees will receive P1 million, a gold medallion, and a trophy each during the celebration of Metrobank’s 57th foundation anniversary later this month.

    Dimayuga, a member of the Philippine Military Academy class of 2005, led a Marine Force Recon Platoon that figured in a fierce gun battle against Janjalani’s forces in Patikul town in Sulu in September 2006.

    The three-hour fighting resulted in the death of Janjalani and about 30 others Abu Sayyaf members. Six soldiers died while 16 others were injured, including Dimayuga, then a second lieutenant.

    AFP public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Dimayuga has held key positions in the military during his 19-year military career.

    “In 2006, his leadership as a platoon commander of a Force Recon Platoon became key in crippling the forces of the most notorious terrorist group in the country by infiltrating their stronghold in Sulu,” said Detoyato.

    “This led to the neutralization of its top leader who was tagged as one of the most wanted men in Southeast Asia and listed as one of FBI’s most wanted terrorists,” Detoyato said, referring to Janjalani.

    Dimayuga is currently taking up Master of Science in Defense Analysis at a Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

    Baldomar spearheaded an initiative that rallied soldiers to respond to the plight of 95 internally-displaced Tiruray tribal families in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao in 2001 while assigned with the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion.

    Baldomar was also cited for his role in the implementation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap strategic communication, called Horizon 1. He specifically spearheaded the execution of activities aimed at enhancing the AFP’s “capacity building and professionalism of its ranks.”

    Baldomar earned his Master’s Degree in Transformational Leadership at the International Graduate Scholl of Leadership-Asia.

    Caporas, from the Army, was cited for his role in clearing recovery of explosives at several Marawi City barangays occupied by the Daesh-inspired Maute Group two years ago.