Siaton, Neg. Oriental – An Army tracking working dog named as Ella was among the medal recipients honored recently by the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division for their series of successful military operations against the New People’s Army remnants in Negros Island.
Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3ID commander, personally pinned the Military Merit Medal to the military working dog and his handler, PFC Dave Calumbres, at the 11th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Siaton, Negros Oriental.
An Army Scout platoon leader and 10 of his men, including Calumbres and the K9 dog, were cited by Arevalo for their role in a recent encounter with suspected New People’s Army rebels in Sibulan, Negros Oriental, that led to the killing of another NPA squad leader.
Arevalo disclosed that Ella and his handler helped a lot in tracking down fleeing rebels and the discovery of the NPA casualty who was left behind at the encounter site.
Army soldiered also recovered three high powered firearms, five improvised anti-personnel mines and other war materials, among other personal belongings left behind by the fleeing rebels.
Military Merit Medals were also conferred by Arevalo to 19 soldiers, including four officers of the 94th Infantry Battalion, as well as 12 CAFGU members, who were also involved in another encounter with communist rebels on April 14 in Brgy. Caradioan, Himamaylan City, that led to the death of another NPA leader.
A Wounded Personnel Medal was also given to a member of the 94IB, who was injured in the Himamaylan City encounter.
On the other hand, the 15th Infantry Battalion yesterday identified the suspected NPA member who died in an encounter on April 19 in Sitio Bajay, Brgy. Caliling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental, as Celso Tribunalo, with aliases of Larry, Jimlo and Greg.
Tribunalo, 62, served as the Sentro De Grabidad Platoon 2 squad leader of South West Front.
Army soldiers recovered an M4 assault rifle with two magazines containing ammunition, assorted war materials and personal belongings.
Arevalo lauded the unending support of the local populace for giving accurate information to the troops that led to the successful military operations against the armed groups, as well as the operating troops in preventing rebel atrocities.
“We are saddened by another life wasted because of senseless armed struggle of CPP-NPA terrorists. Thus, we are again calling to the other members of the terrorist group to surrender now, while they still have a chance,” Arevalo said. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)