BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The 303rd Infantry Brigade honored the 210 Army and police personnel, who received medals Saturday in Brgy. Libas, Isabela, Negros Occidental, for demonstrating commendable exemplary actions during a series of combat and law enforcement operations in central Negros that led to the arrest of nine suspected New People’s Army rebels and recovery of a cache of firearms.
Col. Michael Samson, deputy commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, led the pinning of Military Commendation Medals on members of the 62nd Infantry Battalion. Present were Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla, Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes, and Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, commander of the 62IB.
Samson cited the army and police personnel for the arrest of nine NPA rebels, including two ranking officials, linked to the ambush-slay of then Guihulngan City police chief Supt. ArnelArpon and five other policemen in 2017, as well as the liquidation of Army Cpl. Mark Anthony Quiocson in July this year.
A cache of guns, including two M-16 rifles, two shotguns and eight .38 caliber revolvers, were recovered by the 62IB troopers after an encounter with suspected NPA rebels on Sept. 17 in Sitio Bungao, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City.
Three days after, a joint operation of the 62IB, 6th Special Action Battalion of the PNP and the local police led to the arrest of nine suspected rebels in Brgy. Buenavista, also in Guihulngan City, that yielded five high-powered firearms, including 9mm and .45 caliber pistols and 357 revolvers, two hand grenades, among others.
Samson lauded the bravery and selfless dedication of the operating troops to secure and protect the community of the entire central Negros.
“The medal symbolizes your bravery in facing our enemy and selfless dedication to your oath to protect the people and the country. As your Deputy Brigade Commander, I want to recognize your commitment to the service, hard- work and bravery in fighting the terrorist NPAs,” he said.*