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16 soldiers awarded for successful liberation of Marawi

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday recognized 16 soldiers for their significant contributions in the successful liberation of Marawi City last year.

The soldiers as well as two civilian personnel who were either involved in combat or non-combat operations during the liberation of Marawi from the ISIS-inspired Maute group were given their medals during the flag-raising ceremony at the General Headquarters (GHQ) Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The other awardees, according to AFP, had "performed outstandingly in policy development to contribute in the systems advancement of the organization."

"Nothing gives me more fulfillment than to join our soldiers in celebrating their moments of triumphs such as today. It brings me so much pride and joy to witness our men and women humbly accept the products of their selflessness, commitment, dedication and perseverance," Galvez was quoted as saying in a press release.

The Gold Cross Medal awardees were Major Ryedel Reynaldo Cabugon, 1st Lieutenant Brian Palencia, Private First Class Enrique Macinas and PFC Dondon Onsar who are from the Philippine Army; Major Michael Rabina, Staff Sergeant Ronaldo Suarez, and Staff Sergeant Glenn B. Grafa all from the Philippine Air Force; and 1st Lieutenant George Galzote and 1st Lieutenant Jobert Jude who are from the Philippine Marines.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Julius Buyucan from the Philippine Marines received the Silver Cross Medal.

The Meritorious Achievement Medal awardees were Colonel Ferdinand Torres from the Philippine Air Force, and the Philippine Army's Colonel Consolito Yecla, Colonel Alex Rillera, Lieutenant Colonel Edgardo Talaroc Jr, and Major Benjamin Cadiente Jr.

The Command Plaque was given to Colonel Raul Bautista while Emma Sicar and Kyle Kristoffer Salongcay who are both civilian personnel from GHQ were also awarded with the Chief of Staff Commendation Medal.

It has been a year since the Maute group had laid siege in Marawi. More than 1,000 persons, mostly militants, died in the five-month long battle.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi on October 17, a day after terror leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed. —KG, GMA News


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