TACLOBAN CITY, Nov. 16 (PIA) -- "Saludo ako sa iyo!" (I salute you) This was how President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greeted each wounded soldier belonging to the Army's 14th Infantry Battalion based in Oras, Eastern Samar who are being treated at the Saint Benedict Hall of the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban City.
The President, on November 15, visited the seven wounded soldiers belonging to the Army's 14th Infantry Battalion based in Oras, Eastern Samar and one police officer who was wounded in police operation.
The President honored the soldiers, the youngest of who was 25 years old and the eldest was 30, as he conferred on them the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kampilan.
It was learned that the Order of Lapu-Lapu is given to persons in the government or private sector who have rendered extra-ordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President's campaign or advocacy.
Meanwhile, the Kampilan Medal is conferred on persons who were seriously wounded or suffered great loss of property as a direct result of their participation in such action.
The WIA soldiers at DWH were Sgt. Kenneth John T. Arcina; Cpl. Linlito C. Donayre; PFC Albert C. Abegonia; Pvt. Darwin D. Aborquez; Pvt. Joshua M. Pacuan; Cpl. Aljon P. Aguilos; and PFC Rex A. Batis Jr.
The WIPO Police Officer is Pat. Jomar M. Aballe.
Together with the President were DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Senator Bong Go, and PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar.
Divine Word Hospital Medical Director, Dr. Gil Asoy and the two other doctors attending to the wounded soldiers were around to personally inform the President the conditions of the patients.
Aside from the media, several representatives of the government's Comprehensive Social Benefit Program were present.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 8 initially gave cash assistance of P5,000 to the wounded in action while P10,000 to the six who were killed in action; 3 boxes of family food packs. The patients will also be given medical assistance and will be assessed for further assistance.
Earlier on Friday, the President went to the 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan, Samar to personally honor the six soldiers who were killed in action during the encounter in Borongan.
They were given the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kalasag, posthumously, at Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City.
The Kalasag Medal is given to officials and personnel of the government and private individuals who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation in an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.
The President also visited the wounded soldiers at the Camp Lucban Station Hospital to confer on them the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kampilan.
To recall, the soldiers were deployed to Sitio Bangon, Barangay Pinanag-an, late afternoon of Monday, November 11, when they encountered some 50 guerrillas. The rebels set off six improvised explosive devices during the battle killing six soldiers and wounding 20.
Major General Pio Dinoso, 8th Infantry Division commander, identified the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice as Sergeant Rex Jadulco; Corporal Ronald Go; Corporal Limar Banug; Private First Class Kent Loyd Agullo; Private First Class Junmar Buranday; and Private Charlie Del Rosario. (PIA-8)