Injured soldiers get honor, medal

SIX SOLDIERS of the 71st Infantry Battalion received the wounded soldiers’ medal during the visit of Maj. Gen. Angelito Dela Leon, 7th Infantry Division commander, at Camp Panacan station hospital on Wednesday.

The two soldiers killed in action were also given a medal through their family during the visit of the division and battalion commanders at St. Peter funeral parlor in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

The wounded soldiers were identified as Corporals Lope Afable, Roel Delante, and Anthony Ulep; and PFCs Kimpee Dorde, Richard Badoy and Daryl Umbania.

The two fallen soldiers were PFCs Brian Buggay and Nel Formentera.

The soldiers were part of the team sent to reinforce soldiers fighting communist rebels in an encounter in Barangay New Barili, Maco, Compostela Valley last June 18.

De Leon said he’s thankful that despite the incident, the soldiers are still in high morale and want to return to duty as soon as possible.

The army general said they gave financial assistance to the wounded soldiers and to the family of the killed soldiers.

Temporary encampment

Lt. Col. Davice Mercado, 71st IB commander, said the search they conducted in the area yielded information that the area was the temporary encampment of the rebels.

“That’s why the troopers recovered eight backpacks, personal belongings, improvise explosive device, and assorted ammunitions,” Mercado said.

Mercado also commended his soldiers who fought the rebels despite they were outnumbered.

“They (soldiers) are well trained in guerilla fighting,” he said.

He said the air support was able to respond immediately at the same time with the field artillery cannon.

“That’s why the rebels demoralized and escaped,” Mercado said.

Meanwhile, Col. Reuben Basiao, the 701st IB commander, said the three rebels killed in Cateel town in Davao Oriental are still unclaimed.

 He said the local government will bury the rebels, all said to be members of indigenous tribes, should there will be no claimant within the week.

Basiao said the killed rebels were not from Davao Oriental.

 He said some rebel returnees identified the fallen rebels but they just don’t know their addresses.

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