By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
CAMP NAVARRO, Calarian, Zamboanga City: Medals and P2 million monetary reward were given to the military officers responsible for the rescue of Indonesian kidnap victims, and the neutralization of notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Sub-leader in Tawi-Tawi.
President Rodrigo Duterte as Commander in Chief was represented by Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana in conferring the medals and monetary reward on Philippine Marines troops who are behind the success of the rescue operations of Indonesian kidnap victims and offensives against their abductors in Tawi-Tawi earlier this year.
According to Col. Alaric delos Santos, Gen. Sobejana awarded the Distinguished Navy Cross to Col. Nestor Narag, Jr. for the latter’s extraordinary achievement as the Deputy Commander of Joint Task Tawi-Tawi during the successful rescue of 4 Indonesian kidnap victims in Kalupag Island, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi on March 21, 2021.
Delos Santos said Col. Narag orchestrated a comprehensive Fleet-Marine operation and provided command and control to the operating sailors and marines who engaged the enemies which resulted in the neutralization or killing of ASG leader Majan Sahidjuan, a.k.a. Apo Mike, and two of his followers.
Meanwhile, Silver Cross Medal was also awarded to the Special Intelligence Team under the 2nd Marine Brigade who provided timely intelligence information that led to the successful conduct of focused military and combat clearing operations in Kalupag Island, Languyan and Tandungan Island, Tandubas, all of Tawi-Tawi.
In his message. Gen. Sobejana congratulated the awardees and lauded the hard work and dedication of the marine troops in accomplishing their mission.
“We have to make ourselves happy all the time so that we become more productive. I always translate happiness into productivity regardless of where we are,” said Gen. Sobejana.
“To the commanders, let us always strike a good balance on mission accomplishment and the morale and welfare of our soldiers,” Gen. Sobejana added.
During the activity, Gen. Sobejana handed over President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s monetary reward amounting to Two Million Pesos (P2 million) intended for the units involved in the successful neutralization of Apo Mike.
The awarding and handing over of monetary reward were held at the Covered Court inside the 2nd Marine Brigade headquarters in Barangay Sanga-Sanga, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Sunday.
Said activity was graced by WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Naval Forces Western Mindanao Commander Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci, Jr., Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi Commander Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, and other military officers.
After the activity, Gen. Sobejana together with Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr., and other military officers paid a courtesy call on Tawi-Tawi Gov. Yshmael “Mang” Sali purposely to discuss the projects and programs of the national government and AFP for the province. JIJ