President Rodrigo Roa Duterte conferred the “Order of Lapu-Lapu” to 12 wounded-in-action (WIA) soldiers during the “Pagpupugay sa mga Bayani” (Salute to the Heroes) and talk to the troops during his visit at the Camp General Adriano Hernandez in Dingle, Iloilo on Thursday.
The order, which was conceived by President Duterte in 2017, is given to officials and personnel of the government and private individuals “who were seriously wounded or injured or suffered great loss of property as a direct result of their participation in an activity pursuant to the advocacy of the government,” according to the citations given to eight personnel of the 61st Infantry Battalion and four personnel of the 15th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
The awardees from the 61st IB were Sgt. Genefir Gaston, 39, from Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental; Sgt. Neil Lagat, 38, from Lambunao, Sgt. Von Carlo Torres, 30, from Barotac Nuevo; and Pfc Joebert Porras, 26, Calinog, all of Iloilo province; Pfc. Donald Lisbo, 28, Dumarao and Cpl. Remulondo Villa, 36, Mambusao, both from Capiz province; Pfc Ariel EA, 24, Sultan Kudarat and Cpl. Ronald Peligro from Bohol.
Peligro was not able to make it to the awarding because he is still at the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City for his eye treatment.
The 61st IB soldiers were injured in separate ambush incidents staged by New People’s Army rebels in Tapaz, Capiz and Janiuay, Iloilo in 2017.
Meantime, those from the 15th IB included Sgt. Raffy Banaglorioso, 36, from Himamaylan, Negros Occidental; S/Sgt. Fredie Raquel, 43, from Cotabato; Cpl Irus Colipapa, 31, Iligan City; and Sgt. Loreto Detoyato from Dumangas, Iloilo.
The troopers were wounded during the Marawi siege last year.
The President gave the soldiers medals and cellular phones.
Five of the awardees each received an egg layer machine (ELM) from the Aboitiz group.
Each kit contains 48 heads of ready-to-lay pullets, galvanized steel cages, feeders, nipple drinkers, water containers and one month feed consumption.
ELM is a backyard farming starter kit that allows the continuous production of eggs in for 16 months. In a day, a kit can produce up to 46 eggs.
Sgt. Detoyato, one of the selected recipients, said he was happy seeing the President in person for the first time.
He also expressed his gratitude as they have received the benefits due them as promised by Duterte.
Detoyato is still undergoing treatment after he was wounded by a sniper shot in Marawi.
Pfc Lisbon was wounded in an ambush staged by the New People’s Army in February 2017 in Tapaz, Capiz.
He hoped that President Duterte will continue to extend support to the military. (PNA)