The Philippine Army yesterday honored “Kodak”, a 2-year-old Labrador tracking dog, who was instrumental in a series of successful operations of the 303rd Infantry Brigade against the New People's Army in Negros Island, with seven other Army personnel.
Kodak was awarded a Brown Eagle Medal in recognition of invaluable service rendered as a member of the K9 Battalion of the Intelligence Service Group of the Philippine Army, in support to the implementations of the 303IB brigade operations.
2Lt. Ma. Revekka Knothess Roperos, 303IB Public Information Officer, said yesterday that Kodak is used during combat operations to track the fleeing NPA rebels, and in search and rescue operations to search for trapped individuals during calamities.
Cpl. Jaymar Lingco, handler of Kodak, was also conferred a Certificate of Appreciation by the 303rd Infantry Brigade, in recognition of the invaluable service he rendered as a member of the ISG K9 Battalion.
The other awardees who were conferred Military Commendation Medal, aside from Roperos, were Lt. Col. Wesley Salvador, SSgt. Jovanie Luberas, 1Lt. Romeo Guimiran, MSgt. Celestino Achuela and Cpl. Redgel Alanta-ol.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Mara on, who was among the civilian awardees, lauded the 303IB under the leadership of Col. Francisco Delfin, for making the province relatively peaceful.
Last year, the province of Negros Occidental was declared as peaceful and ready for further development.
Marañon, who spoke at the 30th founding anniversary of the 303IB, said that because of the peaceful environment, Negros Occidental attracts many investors, with tourist arrivals rising to 17 percent, compared to last year.
The sustained growth rate of the province also increased by 17 percent, he added.
But Marañon said “Our success now is also a problem”, citing the Mambukal Resort experience in Brgy. Minoyan, Murcia, where guests are always overflowing.
Negros Occidental, he added, is also producing 320MW of solar power, a free, clean, and green source of power.
Brig. Gen. Dino Dolina, assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, also lauded the accomplishments of 303IB, which he said could not be done successfully without the support of the community and local government executives.
Delfin also thanked the provincial government of Negros Occidental for its unwavering support to the peace and development campaign of the 303IB.
Other civilian awardees were Provincial Planning and Development Officer Ma. Lina Sanogal, Juan Jose Bonen, John Patrick Onggao, Patricio Baynosa and SM City-Bacolod.*GPB
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