FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – The Philippine Army recognizes 21 outstanding members of the 85,000-strong organization during the occasion of its 115th founding anniversary, an Army official said.
Major Harold Cabunoc, the Army spokesperson, said that the awardees include soldiers, enlisted personnel, reservists and civilian employees. He said that the awarding is the Army's way of acknowledging the excellent contributions of its agents of peace and development.
“Noteworthy deeds and contributions of our soldiers and employees do not come unseen. This simple recognition is to remind everyone to be professional and excellent in their works at all times,” Cabunoc added.
Among the awardees are Privates Danny L Faigane and Marlon V Vera, the soldiers who returned the Php 90,000 cash they found beneath the rubbles during the retrieval operation in the earthquake-shaken town of La Libertad Negros Oriental.
They will each receive a command plaque of merit for their exceptional display of moral integrity, courage and sincerity to their duty.
Two senior officers will also receive awards for their excellent performance of duty. Brig Gen Ricardo Rainier G Cruz, III and Lt Col Maurito L Licudine earned the Distinguished Service Star for their effective leadership instrumental to the implementation of programs and services in their areas of responsibility.
For the completion of the eight books of the PA Real Estate Data (New Edition) which now serves as ‘bible’ to all Real Estate Officers and unit commanders, Col Wilfredo S Bonilla will be pinned with the Outstanding Achievement Medal.
The third highest combat award, the Gold Cross Medal, on the other hand, will be conferred to 1Lt Frances S Belarmino and Pfc Miguel O Tangkig for gallantry in action during encounters against armed communists in their respective areas of assignment.
Meanwhile, 1Lt Larry O Camacam and Pfc Rey L Santiago will accept Bronze Cross Medal for acts heroism involving risk of life.
Camacam earned his award a Disaster Response Operation (DRO) in Iligan City after the rampage of typhoon Sendong was instrumental in rescuing 160 residents strayed by the floods and in the recovery of 10 lifeless bodies.
On the other hand, during an ambush staged by heavily armed rebels in Narciso Ramos Highway, Parang, Maguindanao, Santiago instantly took charge of the wheels when the assailants shot their driver. The act saved 17 passengers when he finally drove then van into safety.
The Army’s assistance to typhoon victims does not end in DROs. Socio-economic and non-combat programs to help the people recover from such distraught are also rendered.
1Lt Joshua C Lim is the recipient of Gawad sa Kaunlaran award for facilitating the set-up of water purification system/machines that were installed to typhoon-ravaged areas in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.
Through the facility, the survivors were temporarily provided with safe and potable water while regular water supply is being restored.
The Army will also recognize the exceptional performance of model ROTC cadets and Reservists. Among the model ROTC Cadets of the year are Cdt Col Daisybhell G Pacio, and Cdt Lt Col Villard M Bayog.
1Lt Carlos E Inofre, Jr and MSg Leonardo R Robles are the PA Model Reservist of the year while TSg Fermin O Rocio is adjudged the PA Enlisted Personnel of the Year.
Emerging from the pack of the PA civilian employees, Dr. Ma. Cecilia DG Bartolome, a dentist, was hailed as the Model Civilian Employee of the year while Model Civilian Supervisor of the year is tagged to Engr. Lou V Aseo.
From the lines of the CAFGU Active Auxiliary, CAA Victor B Balacano is named the CAA of the year.
Best Army groups will also be recognized; among them are Task Force Makalintad, Task Group Diamond Response and 302ndInfantry (Achiever) Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, PA. All are acknowledged for their outstanding accomplishments during DROs.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin will grace the occasion as the Guest of Honor and Speaker. He will grant the awards together with Army Chief Lt General Emmanuel Bautista.