President Rodrigo Duterte postponed his scheduled meeting with farmers in North Cotabato on Friday, to first visit the slain and wounded soldiers who engaged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a firefight in Eastern Samar last Monday.
“President Rodrigo Duterte postponed his meeting with North Cotabato farmers on Friday to visit six dead and 20 wounded soldiers attacked by NPA (rebels) in Eastern Samar,” Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Thursday.
Duterte visited the wake of the slain soldiers at Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City.
At least six soldiers were killed and 20 others were wounded when the NPA detonated six explosives in Pinanag-an village in Borongan City, Eastern Samar on Monday.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The President also visited the 20 wounded soldiers who were confined at the Camp Lukban hospital at the headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan City.
The President has conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, rank of Kalasag, on the slain soldiers, and the Order of Lapu-Lapu, rank of Kampilan, on the wounded soldiers.
The soldiers who were killed in action were Sgt. Rex Jadulco, corporals Ronald Go and Limar Banug; and privates 1st Class Kent Loyd Agullo, Charlie del Rosario, and Junmar Buranday.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is awarded to a government worker or a private individual who has rendered extraordinary service or made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy. The Kalasag Medal is conferred on an individual who lost his life as a direct result of his participation in an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President, while the Kampilan Medal is given to a person who was seriously wounded or suffered great loss of property as a direct result of his participation in such action.
Malacañang said the dependents of the slain soldiers, as well as the wounded soldiers, would also get financial support from the government through the Comprehensive Social Benefit Program.
Participating in the program are the local governments; the departments of trade and health; the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; the National Housing Authority; the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the Commission on Higher Education; and the National Police Commission.