Wounded troops receive medals from army chief

THREE soldiers, including an officer of 16th Infantry Battalion, wounded in an encounter with communist rebels on Oct. 25, were awarded medals by Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, the commanding general of the Philippine Army (CGPA), upon his visit to Camp Panacan Station Hospital yesterday.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also visited the three wounded soldiers yesterday.

Lt. Darren Comia, the 16th IB commander, identified the three soldiers as Lt. Joseph Lazo, Staff Sgt. Rolando Niñalga and PFC. Harold Obsioma.

Comia said the troops of the 16th IB conducted combat operation upon the tip of the residents that there armed men in Sitio Quiambao, Barangay Mapula, Paquibato District.

“At that time, we had an ongoing operation so we immediately went to the area where the encounter occurred,” he said.

The troops encountered members of the Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 1, SRC 5 under Ka Jinggoy for about 40 minutes, which started around 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 25.

“There were also reports that three alleged NPA members, including a female, were wounded,” he said, adding that they received reports that the rebels were seen heading toward Marilog District on Oct. 28.

During the clearing operation, the soldiers were able to recover kitchen utensils and other war materials belonging to the group at the encounter site. He said the pursuit operation continues to track down the escaping rebels.

For now, the three wounded soldiers are in stable condition at the military hospital.

Comia said the mayor visited them yesterday to show her support to the soldiers.

The 16th Infantry Battalion, under the 2nd Infantry Division in Tanay, Rizal, was deployed in Davao July last year to help in the fight against the NPA in the area. The battalion is now under the operational control of the 10th ID.

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