21 soldiers honored as ‘Pablo’ heroes



For putting their lives on the line to save residents of an upland community in Compostela Valley at the height of Typhoon “Pablo,” 21 Philippine Army soldiers received the fourth-highest award given out by the military in recognition of their “acts of heroism.”

“We are proud of our soldiers who continuously risk their lives while serving on the frontlines,” Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said in a statement.

“During calamities, our soldiers are the first responders who perform disaster response operations to help victims of natural calamities all throughout the archipelago,” he said.

Cabunoc said the Philippine Army commander, Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, personally conferred on Thursday the Bronze Cross Medal on four members of Charlie Company of the 66th Infantry Battalion who remain confined at AFP Medical Center in Quezon City.

The 17 other injured soldiers received their medals at the 10th Infantry Division headquarters in Camp Panacan in Davao City.

Describing them as the Army’s “new breed of heroes,” Cabunoc said 1st Lt. Alex Marvin Deazeta and his men were manning a military outpost in Barangay (village) Andap, New Bataan town, when the typhoon struck on Dec. 4.

The soldiers rounded up the local residents and put them on two military trucks to take them to safety.

But a sudden rush of floodwater carrying boulders and mud swept the village, burying the military vehicles.

“Despite this, the soldiers were still able to save some of the residents. Seven soldiers died, many were injured, while four remain missing,” Cabunoc said.

Several residents died but the Army did not have exact figures.

The Bronze Cross, the fourth-highest combat award given by the military after the Medal of Valor, Distinguished Conduct Star and Gold Cross, is bestowed for “both combat and noncombat accomplishments,” he said.

“(The award) is given to military personnel for acts that involve the risk of life other than those in actual conflict with the enemy,” he said. “The cross symbolizes risk of life and sacrifice, and the wreath stands for honor, which the awardee deserves.”

The citation for the injured soldiers read: “Deazeta and his troops courageously and fearlessly risked their lives. Their ultimate display of heroism, dedication, devotion to duty and selflessness greatly contributed to the great desire to save human lives, which the battalion has sworn to secure and protect.”

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • AZKID13

    That’s there job !! a hero not !!

    • deep_agua

      They deserved to be recognize as heroes.. they excelled on their job. They also have their own families to think about, but because they risk their lives to save others.. then any matured person person can say that indeed it’s heroism.


    • kalikasanipagtanggol

       I’m sure there are many civilians who did risk their lives and a some of them never made it alive……were they accorded the same recognition? civilians who risks their lives to save others are worthy of calling heroes!

  • nti_boohaya

    Good job sa panahong may bagyo.  Ano kaya ginawa nila habang talamak ang illegal loggingt  at mining kung saan sila may mga outposts?  Again, good job seeers!

  • lescantillal

    Thank you soldiers! 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MOSRMAS3HEMOMYHBYOGN3EQS34 Leo Calo

    My Heart and Prayer goes to these Soldiers and their families, Mabuhay kayong lahat..

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/XY4AW6ZJBAPIJ33L7KX6M3IOQI c

    RIP. and i mean no disrespect to the fallen soldiers and to their families. and pardon me for airing this piece in this forum but wasn’t it that they were just doing their job in the first place? why do we have to honor them as heroes? it’s expected that they will risk their lives to save fellow citizens cause that’s what they swore to do as soldiers. and i agree in relation to the other comment here. maybe if the military–led by its top-ranking officers giving stringent orders to their men and women soldiers–were more committed to guarding our forest against illegal loggers, much of the tragedy would not have happened in the first place. then those soldiers would have been still alive today.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WYAZBOJYIUCRLWTYJBORBVTTOI boyfarmer

       You cannot blame entirely the denudation of forest for the cause of the typhoon calamities, Mindanao is ill prepared for this disaster as we are not with in the typhoon belt. We used to say “walang bagyo sa Davao”. This places in compostela valley and the entire southern portion of Mindanao is supposed to be typhoon free, it just so happened that the path of the typhoon just went below it’s usual route, Sa Mindanao Upper Surigao area lamang ang tinatamaan ng bagyo noon, sa lower parts mild rain and shower lamang, We may attribute this change in typhoon path to global warming


      I know where you are coming from but soldiers as brave as they will be are human being too, and as human being it is our nature to preserve ourselves.  Ergo they fear death too.
      You made a good point re the illegal loggers though.

  • Fulpol

    I commend the heroism of these soldiers…


    is AFP becoming obsolete and irrelevant? are soldiers becoming rescue personnel?

    should they be better awarded for Medal of Valor?

    • Pork_Republik

      I recommend increase pay for our AFP personnel instead of metals on their chest. Our soldiers don’t need medals to show off their commitment and bravery, the Filipino people are plainly aware of it.

      An increase on our soldiers pay will be much more appreciated by our gallant men in uniform.

  • Martin Rademakers

    Rest in peace to all in Mindanao who died in the recent Hurricane Pablo.  

  • Pork_Republik

    Thank you po sa Tunay na Kawal ng bansang Pilipinas. Malaking tulong po ang sakripisyo ninyo sa mga nasalanta ng delubyo. Mabuhay po kayo!



    The Army is not wasting time here, they gave a medal of commendation plus monetary incentives.  This is the way to go my brothers brief and concise you guys are .  Thank you so much for honoring our living heroes.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Bakit ba nakalbo ang kagubatan at naglipana ang mga mining companies(small, medium at multi)? bakit hindi sila napaparusahan sino ang mga protectors at nakikinabang?

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    I’m sure there are many civilians who did risk their lives and a some of
    them never made it alive……were they accorded the same recognition?
    civilians who risks their lives to save others are worthy of calling

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos