Five Negrense soldiers, who were among the 129 government forces killed fighting ISIS-inspired Maute terrorists in Marawi City, were awarded yesterday with posthumous recognitions of the Order of Lapu Lapu, Kalasag rank by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The distribution of posthumous awards was made yesterday as the nation marked National Heroes Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City that was spearheaded by Duterte.
The awards were received by the families of five Negrense slain soldiers, who were 2Lt. 2Lt. Macglen Abuyabor of Bais City, Negros Oriental, SSgt. Joseph Villanueva of La Castellana, PFC Ramonito Occena III of Sipalay City, Cpl. Ariel Arquio of Cauayan, and Corporal Arjhay Baroa of San Carlos City, all in Negros Occidental.
The medal of the Order of Lapu Lapu Kalasag Rank is awarded to public and private servants who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation in advancing the campaign and advocacy of the government.
Duterte created the Order of Lapu-Lapu in April through Executive Order 17 and expanded its coverage through Executive Order 35 signed on August 3
Families of soldiers killed in the ongoing conflict in Marawi are also entitled to receive almost P1 million worth of benefits each from the government, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Dutertae, in his speech televised nationwide, said “Today, we confer the Order of Lapu-Lapu [to] individuals who rendered extraordinary service to our country; of utmost significance are the fallen heroes of Marawi, of Jolo, Sulu and in other places in the country fighting terrorism and subversion of the New People's Army and the ISIS-Maute terror groups in Lanao,"
He added that he created the Order of Lapu-Lapu because he believes "Every Filipino who has done something for the country should be recognized, living or dead."
"I cannot thank them enough for their invaluable service to the nation, and we shall be forever in debt," Duterte also said. *GPB
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