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3 soldiers awarded

The three soldiers wounded in the Kiblawan encounter in Davao del Sur last Monday received the Wounded Personnel Medal on Thursday afternoon.

“We appreciate your display of the finest tradition of soldiery,” said Lt. Gen. Santos Jr., the commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), who bestowed the medal during his visit at Camp Panacan, Station Hospital, Naval Station Felix Apolinario Thursday afternoon.

The honored soldiers were identified as Sgt. Kenneth Balicot, Cpl. Melgar Requiron, and Cpl. Randy Bacarro.

“You courageously and unselfishly responded to the call of duty to ensure the safety of our communities. With these, you brought honor not only to your self and the Armed Forces but also to the communities whom we are serving,” Santos said.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the EastMincom spokesperson, said the three soldiers were among those who encountered an undetermined number of communist rebels in Barangay Abnate, Kiblawan on July 1 at 9:45 a.m.

The soldiers, part of the combined 1002nd IB force from the 39th Infantry Battalion and 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion, responded to the reported extortion activities by the armed men in Abnate.

Balicot and Requiron sustained injuries caused by an M203 splinter: Balicot on his foot and Requiron on his head. Bacarro sustained gunshot wound on his shoulder.

Balagtey said the NPA rebels left an M16 rifle, an International Humanitarian Law-banned landmine and subversive documents.

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