By Rommel F. Lopez 

President Rodrigo Duterte leads the awarding of the Order of Lapu-Lapu and Gold Cross Medal to personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Sulu during his visit to Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo on June 4, 2019. MALACANANG PHOTO / ALBERT ALCAIN

JOLO, Sulu— Eleven soldiers wounded during the May 31 encounter with the Abu Sayyaf Group at Barangay Pansul, Patikul, Sulu were conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, with rank of Kampilan, by President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Sulu on Tuesday.

The Order of Lapu-Lapu was created on April 7, 2017 to recognize government workers and private individuals who provide “invaluable or extraordinary service in nation to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”

The Kampilan rank medal is bestowed on those who were seriously injured in carrying out activities in connection with issues championed by the President.

Recipients of the Order of Lapu-Lapu were Cpl. Arsenio Opaco Jr., Cpl. Sonny Jumoc, Pfc. Edwin Yurong, Pfc. Edeson Alom, Pfc. Abduhasad Baladji, Pcf. Joevertt Ramirez, Pvt. Dominic Osorio, Pvt. Jeric Peñaredondo, Pvt. Raymund Balambao, Pvt. Ramil Diaz Jr., and Pvt. Albert Daligdig.

Awarded the Gold Cross Medal were Lt. Col. Abdulmoel Alamaia, Lt. Col. Ronaldo Amteo, 1st Lt. Romel Pacer, 1st Lt. Geronimo Vergara, Cpl. Ariel Sanchez, Cpl. Engelbert Tañan, and Cpl. Reylan Busmeon. The Gold Cross recognizes gallantry in action of personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In his address, the President said his camp visits were intended to recognize soldiers’ bravery and boost their morale.