The soldiers are from the 82nd Infantry (Bantay-Laya) Battalion of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division who are confined at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, Iloilo.
To be awarded are: Corporal Ted Peter Felarca; Private First Class Rofel Chiva and Jargen B Bayot; and Private’s Jake Cena and Jayrold Cansancio for wounds sustained during an encounter with the New People’s Army in Brgy Ingay, Tubungan, Iloilo about 8 a.m. Monday.
The soldiers, to be awarded by the 3ID Commander, Major General Jose Mabanta Jr. are members of the Headquarters Service Company of the 82IB who were on their way to the Poblacion of Tubungan town to fetch Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) students from Municipal Hall of Tubungan, Iloilo to the TESDA regional training center in Iloilo City.
“We recognize today the gallantry of our soldiers who fought in the recent encounter. 3ID is making sure that the wounded are given the best medical care”, said Mabanta.
Mabanta has earlier said his regrets on the incident and added that the Army’s effort to help the students from this town (Tubungan) was answered by this treacherous act of the rebels. He added that this senseless act of terror will not impede the soldier’s resolve to bring peace and help communities.
Soldiers, he said, will remain steadfast and continue to provide the needed assistance to the people.
“This is continued disregard of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRILHL) which the communist group is a signatory. The incident has deprived the students of their right to education. The wounding of two civilians is a clear indication that the NPA has disregarded the protection of the civilians in armed conflict. The use of landmines is also a violation”, added Mabanta.
Wounded Personnel Medal
The medal is granted for those wounded in action against an enemy of the Philippines or as a direct result of an act of the enemy, provided such wound necessitates treatment of medical Officers.
The medal is in the form of a cross in gold. Superimposed in the center of a cross is a disc where a relief head of Gen Gregorio del Pilar is placed facing front. The wreath made of light green laurel Leaves superimposed the cross.
The cross signifies the risk of life while in combat; the disc with the head of General del Pilar is for Achievements that resulted in the wounding of an awardee; the wreath Symbolizes honor for such endeavor; and the green color stands for nobility and devotion to duty.
The ribbon is white with purple stripe in the center.
It can be recalled that since the deployment of 82IB in Southern Panay sometime in 2008, the unit has been providing regular transportation assistance to the scholars of Tubungan that undergo training at TESDA. At least 907 scholars from San Joaquin, Miagao, Igbaras, Guimbal, Tubungan, Tigbauan and Oton, all in Iloilo province, had already benefited from the transportation assistance provided by the Army from 2009 to date.
Based on the records of TESDA and LGU of Tubungan, five of the scholars are former rebels and at least 15 NPA symphatizers.