PRESIDENT Duterte on Saturday conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu on 10 soldiers and three policemen injured in separate clashes with the Abu Sayyaf Group.
After visiting wounded soldiers and police confined at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo in Sulu, Duterte later met with the children from indigenous tribes on his return to Davao City.
In Jolo, Duterte, accompanied by Sen. Christopher Go, bestowed the Order of Lapu-Lapu with Rank of Kampilan on the soldiers and policemen who were wounded during the December 4 ambush and December 7 encounter both in Patikul, Sulu.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu with rank of Kampilan is given to soldiers and policemen seriously wounded or suffered great loss of property as a result of their participation in an activity pursuant to the campaign or advocacy of the President.
Awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu were 1st Lieutenant Vergara D. Geronimo, Sergeant Vicente Calvin O. Belino Jr., Corporal Ariel H. Gormonit, Corporal Cornelio G. Olandag, Private First Class Albert C. Aras, Private First Class Jezzer S. Ea, Private First Class Jay-Arr D. Redula, Private First Class Francis M. Ybañez, Private First Class John Carlo C. Casintahan, Private First Class Glenn C. Acayan, Police Senior Master Sergeant Adil A. Salamat, Police Chief Master Sergeant Abdulmuidz S. Marajani and Police Corporal Halkim A. Ibno.
The President thanked the soldiers and policemen for their bravery and services along with the rest of the members of the 11th Infantry Division who are stationed at Camp Teodulfo Bautista for their efforts and sacrifices to secure the country against the Islamist militants.
Duterte also lauded the division for their dedication and determination to carry on with its mission despite some challenges, which he said had been a source of inspiration for other soldiers and a significant stride towards crushing the ASG.
“To our brave soldiers who are with us today, you are here because you have answered the call to serve your nation by ensuring peaceful and safe communities for all. We thank you for risking your lives to protect us from elements that threaten the security of our country,” he said.
The President expressed confidence that with the 11th ID’s continued support and commitment, terrorists and all those plotting to bring the country down will not succeed.
“As your Commander-in-Chief, I move forward with you as we advance the common good and promote the security of our nation,” he said.
The President also distributed financial aid to the awardees and their families and also handed one of the soldiers the camouflaged jacket he was wearing.