PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Tuesday honored 11 wounded-in-action soldiers in Sulu, Malacañang said. “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte paid tribute to injured soldiers fighting the Abu Sayyaf Group by conferring them the Order of Lapu-Lapu with rank of Kampilan during his camp visit to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Sulu,” the Palace said in a statement on Wednesday. Mr. Duterte conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu on “11 soldiers wounded during the May 31 encounter with the Abu Sayyaf Group at Barangay Pansul, Patikul, Sulu.” They are: Cpl. Arsenio Opaco Jr., Cpl. Sonny Jumoc, Pfc. Edwin Yurong, Pfc. Edeson Alom, Pfc. Abduhasad Baladji, Pcf. Joevertt Ramirez, Pvt. Dominic Osorio, Pvt. Jeric Peñaredondo, Pvt. Raymund Balambao, Pvt. Ramil Diaz Jr., and Pvt. Albert Daligdig. “The Order of Lapu-Lapu is given to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy,” the Palace said. “The Kampilan medal is conferred on persons who were seriously wounded or suffered great loss of property as a direct result of their participation in such action.” The President also awarded the Gold Cross Medal to Lt. Col. Abdulmoel Alamaia, Lt. Col. Ronaldo Amteo, 1st Lt. Romel Pacer, 1st Lt. Geronimo Vergara, Cpl. Ariel Sanchez, Cpl. Engelbert Tañan, and Cpl. Reylan Busmeon during his meeting with the soldiers stationed at Camp Teodulfo Bautista. In his speech, Mr. Duterte said: “Sa panahon na kailangan ninyo ang inyong (In times when you need your) commander-in-chief to be with you, beside you, and to die with you, nandito ako sa mga panahon na ‘yan (I am here in those times).” — Arjay L. Balinbin