Medalya ng Kabayanihan for 5 SAF commanders
MANILA, Philippines — Five commanders of the police Special Action Force (SAF) that helped the military liberate Marawi City from a terrorist siege by Islamic State (IS)-inspired terror groups in May 2017 have been conferred the Medalya ng Kabayanihan by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
In a statement on Wednesday, Rogelio Casurao, executive officer of the Napolcom, said the medals were awarded to Police Lt. Col. Rex Arvin T. Malimban, Lt. Col. Lambert A. Suerte, Lt. Col. Jack Echman A. Angog, Lt. Col. Mario L. Mayames Jr. and Lt. Col. Ledon D. Monte.
The Medalya ng Kabayanihan, or Distinguished Conduct Medal, was awarded to the officers “in recognition of their conspicuous courage and gallantry in the face of armed enemies, where they performed the most crucial role as leaders and commanders of the (SAF) troopers during the Marawi City crisis.”
Casurao said the children of the five awardees would be granted educational scholarships under the Reward Education Assistance Program of the Philippine National Police.
The Napolcom also approved the promotion to the next rank of another 57 policemen for “demonstrating acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry in action at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty” in the government offensives against the Abu Sayyaf and Maute Group fighters who attempted to establish an IS caliphate in Marawi City.
The Napolcom previously confirmed the special promotion to the next rank of 745 policemen in May 2018 and another batch of 75 police officers in February who all took part in liberating Marawi.
“Their heroic acts resulted in the neutralization of 920 local terrorist group members including their leaders, [Isnilon] Hapilon and the Maute brothers; the rescue of 1,777 hostages; and the recovery of 479 … guns, several rounds of ammunition, and ordnance and improvised explosive devices,” the Napolcom statement read. —Jaymeet T. Gamil
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