Brave Army soldiers get ‘Purple Heart’ PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 March 2012 13:59

The Philippine Army (PA) said Wednesday it awarded its version of the “Purple Heart” to the soldiers who survived a bomb attack by terrorists in Zamboanga del Sur.

Brig. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz, PA 1st Infantry Division commander, awarded the two soldiers who survived the bomb shrapnel which tore parts of their bodies.

Cruz awarded the Wounded Personnel Medal (WPM) to 2nd Lt. Mark Joseph Facaltan and Private First Class Boy Sarab during his visit at their ward in Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City on February 23.

“I am very proud for your heroism and dedication in this particular incident. You did not hesitate to proceed to the scene of the explosion despite the risks that you are confronting,” said Cruz in a statement.

Named as the Wounded Personnel Medal (WPM), the award is equivalent to the U.S. Army’s popular award of the Purple Heart, granted to its wounded soldiers.

Soldiers receive the WPM award for “wounds sustained while in actual conflict with the enemy.”

It can be recalled that Facaltan and Sarab were wounded when an improvised bomb exploded as their vehicle passed by at around 7:20 a.m. on February 17, 2012.

They were members of the team which responded to an urgent call for help when another bomb explosion claimed the life of Rey Collamat, 42, in Usokan village, Labason town.

A day after the bombing incident, another soldier was wounded in ambush perpetrated by unidentified lawless elements in Barangay Langon, Upper Tungawan town.

PFC Robert C. Concepcion was on board a motorcycle for a coordinating activity in the village when the attack happened. Cocepcion also received the Wounded Personnel Medal.

Soldiers and policemen are the first responders during bomb explosions that sometimes occur in some rebel-infested areas.