Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Army Chief Awards Medals On Brave Soldiers

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – The newly installed Army Chief, LtGeneral Reynaldo Mapagu, visited the 9th Infantry Division headquarters to pin medals on heroic soldiers early this morning (March 18), a military report said.

Major Harold M Cabunoc, 9ID Spokesman, said that 16 soldiers who fought NPA rebels in Albay, Sorsogon and Catanduanes were awarded combat medals such as the Bronze Cross Medal and the Military Merit Medal with Spearhead Device.

Among the awardees is LtCol Romeo Basco, Commander of the 83rd Infantry Battalion who recovered eight (8) high-powered firearms in two separate encounters against the CPP-NPA-NDF this year alone. His unit also confiscated over 600 color-coded NPA permit-to-campaign (PTC) cards in Catanduanes Island. For his heroic feat, Basco was awarded the Bronze Cross Medal.

The Army Forces in Bicol Region is steadily gaining ground in its internal security operations (ISO) campaign, said Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division.

As of today, 9ID has recovered 34 high-powered and 16 low powered firearms. Likewise, recent validation in December 2008 estimates NPA strength in Bicol region was reduced by 120 from its original strength of 520 in CY 2008.

In CY 2010, enemy strength is again reduced with the killing of 6 NPA rebels, apprehension of 4, surrender of 4, and the capture of 2 others. Current enemy strength is estimated at around 388 NPA cadres. The Bicol Region is one of the national priority areas in the AFP’s ISO campaign nationwide.
The 9ID is the first field unit visited by General Mapagu after his assumption of Command on March 12, 2010. As part of his visit, he will lead the inauguration of the Army Store which will cater issuance of combat uniforms and other supplies for the operating troops.

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