3 courageous troopers awarded with major military medals during AFP’s 81st founding anniversary

For demonstrating courage and gallantry in combat, three military personnel were conferred with three major medals during the 81st founding anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Wednesday.

These men were Lt. (JG) Reginald M. Balidoc, of the Philippine Navy; 1st Lt. Jay L. Maravilla, of the Philippine Army; and Cpl. Felipe C. Barbadillo, of the Philippine Marine Corps.

They were decorated by President Rodrigo Duterte during Wednesday's awarding ceremonies.

He was assisted Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Balidoc was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Star while Maravilla and Bardadillo were both given the Gold Cross Medal.

The former, who is a member of the Navy Special Operations Group and a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 2011, was given the Distinguished Conduct Star for "acts of conspicious courage and gallantry in the face of an armed enemy during an encounter against more or less 50 foreign and local terrorist organization members under Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute at the Ragayan, Butig, Lanao Del Sur on Feb. 25, 2016 that inflicted heavy casualties to the enemy thereby showcasing extreme stability under fire and keeping up with the finest traditions of Filipino soldiery."

Balidoc is also the team leader of Naval Special Operations Unit-8.

The Distinguished Conduct Star is given to military personnel of the AFP for singular/personal acts of conspicious courage and gallantry in the face of armed enemy.

Maravilla, a Bachelor of Science of Biology graduate, was conferred the Gold Cross Medal, "for gallantry in action during an encounter against more or less 100 fully armed Abu Sayyaf Group who were involved in several high-profile kidnappings at Sitio Makaita, Barangay Bungkaong, Patikul, Sulu last Aug. 26, 2016 that inflicted heavy casualties to the enemy and recovery of numerous war materiel through superb combat leadership and tactical acumen."

The Gold Cross Medal is usually handed to military personnel of the AFP for singular/personal acts of gallantry in action not warranting the award of the Distinguished Conduct Star.

Barbadillo was also given this medal for gallantry in action while serving as the leading sniper of the Special Operations Platoon of the Marine Landing Team-6 tasked as main effort to conduct law enforcement patrol to neutralize the armed group of Jaafar Sabiwang Maguid, a local terrorist believed to be linked with the foreign terrorist group ISIS at Sinapingan, Barangay Butril Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat last Nov. 26, 2015.

Source: Philippines News Agency