Barangay Pigcalagan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao
June 9, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talked to the troops of the Philippine Army’s 603rd Infantry (Persuader) Brigade (6IB), 6th Infantry Division (6ID) at Barangay Pigcalagan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Upon his arrival, the Commander-in-Chief was accorded foyer honors by the Philippine Army and viewed the display of various firearms recovered from anti-illegal drug operations, law enforcement support operations, and counter terrorism operations conducted by the government troops from December 2016 to June 2017.

The firearms displayed included one (1) sniper rifle, three (3) shot guns, five (5) Garand rifles, one (1) air gun, two (2) caliber .22 rifles, seven (7) M16A1 rifles, three (3) M14 rifles, one (1) KG9, three (3) caliber .45 pistols, two (2) caliber .38 revolvers, two (2) M16 with M203 attached, two (2) boost masters, two (2) caliber .45 Thompson, one (1) 9MM, one (1) M653 rifle, two (2) sniper rifles (caliber 50), one (1) sniper rifle, two (2) carbine rifles, two (2) RPGs, one (1) AK47 rifle, three (3) M79, one (1) 60MM mortar, one (1) M60 LMG, and one (1) M203 tube.

A situation briefing was presented to the Commander-in-Chief by Brigade Commander Colonel Jesus Sarsagat wherein he reported the brigade’s accomplishments from 2016 to 2017, the status of the areas responsibility of the troops, and the implementation of Martial Law in the region.

During the program proper, President Duterte awarded the Bronze Cross Award to the following four (4) officers for their accomplishments on peace and security operations of the Operational Control (OpCon) under the 603rd Brigade — Commanding Officer of 6IB, 6ID Lt. Col. Ruben Aquino; Commanding Officer of the 19IB, 8ID Lt. Col. Crizaldo Fernandez; Commanding Officer of 37IB, 6ID Lt. Col. Florencio Pulitod, Jr.; and Commanding Officer of 5SFBn Lt. Col. Eros James Uri.

In his message, the President expressed his appreciation to the men and women of the 603rd Brigade, saying, “It is my honor to express our deepest admiration and gratitude for your fallen and wounded comrades who selflessly put their lives on the line to keep our country safe and strong. The country and people are forever grateful to our brave soldiers who left their families and the comforts of their homes to defend our sovereignty and uphold the constitution.”

He added, “My sincere thanks to you all, the troops that continue to perform duties, conducting 24/7 checkpoints 24 hours seven days a week in major entry and exit points, having intensified foot and mobile patrols and imposing curfews in each area of operation. And I enjoin all brave soldiers to remain determined in pursuit of the enemy and to serve the people whom they have sworn to protect.”

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, and Commander of the 6th Infantry Division MGen. Arnel dela Vega accompanied the President during the visit in Sultan Kudarat.

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