16 soldiers, 17 cops awarded

Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, commander of Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), pins a medal to a member of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 (RMFB-6) during the awarding rites held at the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) headquarters in Barangay Libas, Isabela, Negros Occidental Monday. (Photo courtesy of 303rd IBde)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade awarded 16 military troopers and 17 policemen for demonstrating exemplary actions during two separate encounters against the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area of operations of Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in Negros Occidental last week.

Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, 303rd IBde commander, led the pinning of the Military Commendation Medals (MCM), along with Lieutenant Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, 62nd IB commander, and Police Lieutenant Colonel Leo Batiles, RMFB-6 commander, during the awarding rites held at the 62IB headquarters in Barangay Libas, Isabela town last Monday.

It can be recalled that the first encounter happened between the troopers of the 31st Division Reconnaisance Company (DRC) and about 15 armed men at Sitio Bugo, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, following the discovery of a rebel encampment in a nearby sitio at the said village over the weekend.

It was followed by another clash between the 62nd IB and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 (RMFB-6) against about 10 suspected rebels at Sitio Basak, Barangay Tan-awan, Kabankalan City last October 9. The said encounter resulted in the injury of one police officer.

Arevalo said that the only way to win in this campaign is through offense.

“We will not win the campaign against the insurgents, we will not win against the NPAs, if we are on defensive mode. So, the only way to win is to go on offensive mode,” he added.

At present, a total of 285 medals were given to infantry battalions and police units for successful encounters against the NPA terrorists in the province.