MAGUINDANAO - Nineteen soldiers of Army's 6th Infantry Division who were wounded during recent clashes with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were given medals by Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista in Camp Siongko, in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, on Monday morning.
Bautista, during the awarding ceremony, congratulated the 6th ID for its successful offensive against the BIFF.
"Saksi tayo sa tagumpay natin dito, tagumpay ng kapayapaan. Alam natin na napirmahan na ang huling annex ng framework agreement, at iyan ay simbolo ng pag-iral ng kapayapaan dito sa central Mindanao," Bautista said.
"Ang tagumpay natin ay patuloy nating ipagtatanggol, ipagtatanggol natin ang kapayapaan na ating nakamtan, at yan ang ginawa natin nitong huling operasyon laban sa BIFF," Bautista added.
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman gave P10,000 to the wounded soldiers.
Hataman also allocated P1 million from the local government's peace and order fund to support the 6th ID's law enforcement operations against the lawless elements.
"Ang kailangan natin gawin ngayon ay kung papaano natin maibalik sa dati yung mga naapektohang mga sibilyan, kailangan talaga ma-organize ulit kasi apektado talaga yung pang-araw araw nila eh," Hataman said.
During the two-week-long offensive of the military against the BIFF in Maguindanao, soldiers overran 2 major rebel camps in Barangay Ganta in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao.
At least 52 members of the BIFF and a soldier were killed during the clashes.
However, leaders of the rebel group including founder Ameril Umbra Kato escaped the military offensive.