Aquino hails lieutenant from Sarangani province

By , on March 16, 2015


President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (center) given a 21 gun salute during the commencement ceremonies of the Philippine Military Academy Sinag-lahi Class of 2015 (Photo from RTV Malacanang)
President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (center) given a 21 gun salute during the commencement ceremonies of the Philippine Military Academy Sinag-lahi Class of 2015 (Photo from RTV Malacanang)

MANILA — He may not be a member of an elite unit yet, he has still shown bravery and leadership in fighting communist rebels form Sarangani province.

This was how President Aquino described Army 2nd lieutenant Jerson Sanchez during the graduation of the PMA Sinaglahi Class of 2015.

“Let me emphasize: 2nd Lt. Sanchez is a new soldier, not even a member yet of an elite unit. Yet, in his short time in service, he has already shown extraordinary courage and effective leadership. It is clear to him: while he perseveres in pursuing the enemy, all the more will they hesitate to undertake their operations, because they know the high caliber of our soldiers who stand guard against them,” he said.

Sanchez was awarded with the Distinguished Conduct Star, the second highest military combat award, at the PMA’s Borromeo Field before Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The ceremony of 172 graduates was attended by nearly 1,000 guests including parents and other officials from the military and the police.

Despite reports about the statement being a swipe at sacked Special Action Force (SAF) commander Director Getulio Napeñas, President Aquino made no mention of the Mamasapano incident.

Meanwhile, Aquino has yet to explain why the task was assigned to his friend suspended Director General Alan Purisima, who was suspended as the PNP chief during the operation.