Commodore Renato P. David, commander of the Naval Forces West, led Wednesday a simple awarding ceremony at the Naval Station Apolinario Jalandoon in Barangay San Miguel to honor the outgoing security personnel of Kota and Panata island detachments in Kalayaan municipality, West Philippine Sea (WPS).
The event was done while ensuring strict observance of the safety protocol against COVID-19, such as physical distancing and wearing of the face mask, said the NFW in a statement.
David awarded 10 sailors and marines who stood guard of the 2 of 9 Philippine-held features in the WPS for 4 months.
“Military merit medal was awarded to each of the outgoing personnel as a tribute to their selfless service in support of the mission accomplishment of the NFW in territorial defense operations and sustaining nationalistic pride and presence in the disputed island,” the statement said.
The statement also said the awarding is the second of its kind this month, a manifestation of the Command’s continuous mission in protecting the country’s western frontier despite the prevailing challenge brought about by COVID-19.