The Western Command (WESCOM) on Sunday gave campaign and merit medals to government troops who recently completed their tour of duty at the Kalayaan islands in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Maivi Neri, public affairs officer of the Naval Forces West (Navforwest) said the awarding of Kalayaan campaign and military merit medals to the troops was held during the WESCOM’s lowering of the flag ceremony on Friday, January 26, in Barangay San Miguel.
“We cannot mention the number of those who received the awards for security purposes, but they do not include troops who remain on Ayungin Shoal and Rizal reef detachment,” Neri said.
The award recipients were personnel from the Navforwest headquarters, 3rd Marine Brigade, Naval Special Operation Unit-4 and MSAC-W.
The awards were conferred by Commodore Dorvin Jose Legazpi, the deputy commander of WESCOM, and Capt. Carlos Sabarre, the deputy commander for Fleet Operations of the Navforwest.
“The awarding is a regular practice of WESCOM and Navforwest to honor the heroic deeds of every personnel assigned in the disputed Islands. This event is the first of its kind this year,” Neri said.
Also on the same day, the Navforwest donated 11 reading glasses, six wheelchairs, a pair of crutches, and other helpful devices to persons with disabilities to residents of Barangay Irawan with the help of the Civil Military Operations Unit-West and Philippine Navy Officers Wives Association (PNOWA)-Palawan.
They were donated by the Latter Day Saints Charities, Bahatala Rehabilitation Center and Kiwanis Club of Puerto Princesa. It is the fifth batch of distribution of such in the province.
“This endeavor is a testimony of Navforwest’ stakeholders’ engagement and civil military operations effort as defenders of the Western Frontier,” Neri added.