Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday batted for equal recognition between commanders and low ranking soldiers in the 2019 rescue of Indonesian fishermen held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf terror group.
“More than the commanders, the soldiers on the ground who risked their lives deserve to be honored,” the senator said.
To realize his desire, Lacson pushed for the inclusion of more than 50 soldiers’ names in a resolution citing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and former Armed Forces chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana for the rescue of Indonesian fishermen from the Abu Sayyaf in December 2019.
“Praise the commanders to high heavens if we must; just don’t forget the soldiers who literally risked their lives to make the feat happen,” Lacson said.
Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, proposed to amend the Senate resolution to include the names of more than 50 troopers who took part in the dangerous rescue mission, instead of being cited in supporting documents.
The resolution allows Lorenzana and Sobejana to accept a prestigious award from Indonesian President Joko Widodo on account of the successful rescue operation.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III pointed out that the names of the soldiers were not included in the concurring House resolution, but added that the Senate version can accommodate them.
“I would like to think that we should include their names in the resolution as proposed, because they are the men on the ground,” Lacson stressed.
“They risked their lives more than Sec. Lorenzana and former Chief of Staff Sobejana. They deserve to be cited in the proposed resolution,” he further stated.