PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kampilan on 23 soldiers wounded in separate clashes with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu in recognition of their bravery and service.
Duterte visited the soldiers at Camp Navarro General Hospital on Saturday and gave them the award, the Malacañang press release said Sunday.
He also awarded them gun certificates and extended the financial assistance that they would get.
Five soldiers were killed in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf Group on November 16 and 17, most of them coming from northern Philippines.
The soldiers who received the Order of Lapu-Lapu award with the Rank of Kampilan were:
1. 2nd Lieutenant Michael Vincent Benito
2. Staff Sergeant Rex Cureg
3. Sgt. Romeo Barbon
4. Sgt. Jerson Barasi
5. Sgt. Reynante Ruma
6. Corporal Geneus Calamlam
7. Cpl. Bingbong Salvador
8. Cpl. Felix Jay Castillo
9. Cpl. Denver Lambino
10. Cpl. Eugene Corpuz
11.Private First Class London Longawis
12.Pfc. Aldrin Paj-Dio
13. Pfc. Kriel Manaligod
14. Pfc. Jordan Magundayao
15. Pfc. Ruben Bulayang
16. Pfc. Harvie Soriano
17. Pfc. Marnel Piduana
18. Pfc. Sandoval Ludivico
19. Pfc. John Paul Layugan
20. Pfc. Gevil Lorenzo
21. Private Jayferson Balac
22. Pvt. Jaime Boco, Jr.
23. Pvt. Rizalde Tierro
Meanwhile, Pvt. Murphy Cuntapay was flown from Mindanao to the AFP Medical Center in Quezon City.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of Kampilan is given to personnel of the government and private individuals who suffered injuries or significant loss of property due to their participation in an action supporting a campaign or advocacy of the President.
Duterte also pledged P300 million for the construction of a new two-story hospital inside Camp Navarro.
He said the P27 million remaining fund initially earmarked for the new Camp Navarro General Hospital can be used to buy medical equipment.