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Army to honor 21 heroes of typhoon ‘Pablo’

/ 03:52 PM December 26, 2012

This handout photo released by the Philippine National Police shows police search around toppled tree trunks caused by powerful typhoon Pablo (Bopha) in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. Two high-ranking environment officials in Southern Mindanao downplayed suspicions that illegal logging and mining activities exacerbated the impact of the typhoon in the hardest-hit provinces of Compostela Valley province and Davao Oriental. AP/PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PIO, LEONITO NAVALES

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-one soldiers belonging to the Charlie Company of the Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion will be awarded for their “acts of heroism” during the onslaught of typhoon “Pablo” that swept away an entire village in Compostela Valley.

Four of the soldiers led by First Lieutenant Alex Marvin Deazeta currently recuperating at the AFP Medical Center will be personally awarded with the Bronze Cross Medal by Army chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on Thursday morning, said Army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc.

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“Deazeta and his troops courageously and fearlessly risked their lives, and evacuated the populace of Barangay (village) Andap to higher and safer grounds at the height of typhoon ‘Pablo’…Their ultimate display of heroism, dedication, devotion to duty and selflessness greatly contributed to the great desire to save human lives whom the Battalion has sworn to secure and protect,” the award citation read.

Similar awarding rites will be conducted at the Army’s 10th Infantry Division based in Compostela Valley where the rest of the soldiers are recuperating from their sustained injuries.

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The Bronze Cross Medal is one of the highest awards given to military personnel for acts that involve the risk of life other than those of conflict with the enemy.  The cross symbolizes risk of life and sacrifice, and the wreath strands for honor.

Soldiers stationed in Barangay Andap, New Bataan town were carried away by floods when they tried to rescue residents as Pablo battered the province on December 4.

Seven soldiers were killed, while several were injured, and four remained missing to this day.

“We are proud of our soldiers who continuously risk their lives while serving in the frontlines. During calamities, our soldiers are the first responders who performed disaster response operations to help the victims of natural calamities all throughout the archipelago,” said Cabunoc.

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TAGS: Compostela Valley, Nation, News, Philippine Army, Philippine calamities, Typhoon Pablo
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