Soldiers and civilians received awards for rendering exceptional assistance while responding to the ill-fated C-130 aircraft on July 4, 2021.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command together with Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu/11th Infantry Division on Thursday (July 15, 2021) awarded medals and plaques to the first responders and to all the agencies who helped in the rescue and retrieval operations conducted at the crash site in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu.
“Amid the tragic incident last July 4, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the distinctive personalities who voluntarily and selflessly helped the victims of the accident,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan Jr.
“While we grieve for the loss of our fallen comrades, we were comforted by the stories of the valor of our Tausug brothers and sisters, our new heroes. The incident proved that the Bayanihan spirit still exists in each and every Filipino regardless of culture and belief,” the commander added.
Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. extended his heartfelt gratitude to all the people who supported the armed forces in these trying times.
Among the awardees are the members of the Civilian Active Auxillary of the Bangkal CAA Patrol Base, military personnel from the different units under the Joint Task Force Sulu, the Provincial Government of Sulu, Municipal Government of Patikul, Sulu Provincial Police Office, Ministry of Social Services and Development, Integrated Provincial Health Office, Philippine Red Cross-Sulu Chapter, Notre Dame of Jolo College, Bureau of Fire Protection-Jolo/Indanan/Patikul, 7th Special Action Battalion of the PNP-SAF, Sulu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-Sulu, Kabalikat Civicom 997 Jolo Chapter, and the civilians who were the first responders of the incident.
Also recognized are the Barangay Officials of Bangkal, Patikul; Busbus, Jolo; and San Raymundo, Jolo.
In his remarks, Maj. Gen. William Gonzales said despite the overwhelming challenges of the AFP brought about by the crash-landing of the C-130 aircraft, the Bayanihan spirit is alive.
“We would like to express our gratitude most especially to the ordinary citizens who did extraordinary deeds, regardless of the consequences, to save lives. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Maj. Gen. Gonzales stated.
The awarding ceremony was held at the Covered Court of Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista in Busbus, Jolo, Sulu and was witnessed by 11ID Assistant Division Commander Brig. Gen. Antonio Bautista, 1102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Benjamin Batara, Jr., 1103rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Eugenio Boquio, 4th Marine Brigade Commander Col. Hernanie Songano, Patikul Mayor Kabir Hayudini, and other guests. (Western Mindanao Command PR)