6 Mamasapano survivors also awarded
MANILA — One year after the bloody “Oplan Exodus” operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, some of the surviving Special Action Force (SAF) commandos have finally been recognised as heroes.
In a statement on Tuesday, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) announced the conferment of the Medal of Distinguished Conduct (Medalya ng Kabayanihan) and the Distinguished Service Medal (Medalya ng Katapatan sa Paglilingkod) on six SAF troopers who took part in the operation to take down terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan” and Basit Usman last Jan. 25, 2015—and who had lived to tell the tale.
The Medal of Distinguished Conduct, the second highest military or police honor, was conferred on PO3 Solomon A. Agayso, PO3 Jovalyn D. Lozano, PO3 Jose S. Mana-ar, Jr. and PO2 Clifford P. Agayyong, for “their conspicuous courage and gallantry in action at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty as members of the PNP SAF that served the warrants of arrest against Marwan and Usman,” said Napolcom executive officer Eduardo Escueta.
The four have already been promoted by one rank, together with 25 other “Oplan Exodus” survivors, on July 29, 2015.
Meanwhile, the PNP Distinguished Service Medal was also conferred on Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr. and Senior Supt. Edgar S. Monsalve, said Escueta. The case supervisor and case officer, respectively, were responsible for the “intelligence package” for “Operation Exodus,” “which resulted in the successful neutralization” of Marwan, Escueta said.
The qualified children of the Distinguished Conduct Medal awardees shall be granted educational scholarships under the PNP’s Reward Education Assistance Program, while awardees of the PNP Distinguished Service Medal are entitled to additional five days’ leave credits, according to Escueta.
“While the Napolcom remains committed in cleansing the PNP of misbehaving police officers, we also continue to recognize the bravery and heroism of our police officers by granting them well-deserved awards and incentives,” Escueta said.
Earlier, the highest military award, the Medal of Valor, were conferred posthumously to Chief Insp. Gednat G. Tabdi and PO2 Romeo C. Cempron, two of the 44 SAF troopers slain in “Oplan Exodus.”
Meanwhile, the Distinguished Conduct Medal were conferred on the rest of the “Gallant SAF 44,” along with “Oplan Exodus” team leader Supt. Raymund Train, who had also survived the operation. SFM
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