Camp Juan Ponce Sumuroy (CJPS), Barangay Dalakit, Catarman, Northern Samar
October 2, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte hailed the troopers – also known as Peacemakers – of the Philippine Army’s (PA) 803rd Infantry Brigade (803IB) for their relentless efforts to maintain law and order, and to protect the lives and welfare of people in Northern Samar and the first district of Samar province.

“You have indeed served the country well with your recent achievements. From January to September of this year, the 803rd Brigade conducted internal security operations, resulting in the apprehension and surrender of NPA members. Also noteworthy is their prompt and efficient response in times of calamities,” the President said when he addressed the 803IB soldiers during his visit at the Camp Juan Ponce Sumuroy (CJPS) in Catarman, Northern Samar.

The Commander-in-Chief also officiated the donning of ranks to the newly promoted military personnel and officers, namely: Captain Jay Dayap, Captain Jedahmir Espinas, Captain Rolito Nunag, Captain Joseph Buencamino, Sergeant Julianito Bongo, Sergeant Eleazar Virtudazo, Sergeant Nestor Española Jr., Corporal Eleson Ojas, Corporal Geronimo Yopo, Corporal Jemsom Mero, and Corporal Mark Ryan Cantiga.

Likewise, he conferred the Award of the Bronze Cross Medals to Lieutenant Colonel Renen Mundog, Second Lieutenant Michelle Estares, Sergeant Benjil Halabaso, Sergeant Wilfredo Rapatan, and Corporal Nazer Furuc for risking their lives in the rescue operations conducted in a Taiwanese vessel at Pambujan, Northern Samar during the onset of Typhoon Agathon on January 2, 2018.

Furthermore, President Duterte has administered as well the conferment of the Military Merit Medals to Staff Sergeant Armand Servillano, Corporal Sherwin Ambal, Private First Class Ramil Manguba, Private First Class Bryan Fabillar, and Private First Class Mark Jun Cinco for being part of the security operations on December 18, 2017 and for the recovery of an M16 rifle with a magazine of ammunition after an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) at Barangay Hinagonoyan in Catubig, Northern Samar.

“As I have promised before to all our soldiers and policemen who risk their lives for our country and democracy: I have your backs. Just continue performing your duties well and you can be assured that [as] we honor your courage and dedication, this administration will take care of you and your families by providing you with necessary [social] and financial assistance,” he said.

He also assured that the government is working towards the strengthening of the defense capabilities of the military and police, adding that additional transport vehicles would be provided for the Brigade together with an extended fund support for the enhancement of the roads in the camp, the administration building, among others.

“Terrorism and illegal drug trade continue to threaten the peace and stability of our nation, thereby affecting our economy and even the moral fiber of our society. This administration and the entire Filipino nation rely on the heroic dedication of our soldiers and policemen to ensure that the nation and its interests are secured. Together, let us work hard in ensuring that our people will have the peaceful and prosperous future they richly deserve,” he ended.

After his speech, the President posed with the officials and personnel of 803IB for a photo opportunity.

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