Army fetes top dog in anti-red campaign
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — An Army tracking dog has received a Medal of Merit for being part of a series of successful operations against communist insurgents on Negros Island.
Ella, a Belgian Malinois, was among the medal recipients honored on April 19 by Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division.
A medal was given to Ella and his handler, Pfc. Dave Calumbres, at the 11th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Siaton, Negros Oriental.
Aside from Ella, 31 soldiers, and 12 Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary personnel also received military merit medals from Arevalo for their role in a recent encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Sibulan town, Negros Oriental.
According to Arevalo, Ella and his handler helped a lot in tracking down fleeing rebels and in the discovery of the body of an NPA leader who was left behind at the encounter site.
The soldiers then recovered three high powered firearms, five improvised explosive devices, subversive documents, and 12 backpacks.
A Wounded Personnel medal was also conferred on Cpl. Reno Gicole of the 94th Infrantry Brigade who was injured in one of the encounters.
Arevalo commended the troops for their commitment in serving and securing Negrenses and bringing genuine peace to the island.
He also thanked residents for giving information to the troops that led to the successful military operations against the communist rebels.
“We are saddened by another life wasted because of senseless armed struggle of NPA terrorists. Thus, we are again calling to the other members of the terrorist group to surrender now, while they still have a chance,” Arevalo said.
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