SENIOR Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leader presented a Philippine military medal June 4 to the commander of Naval Forces West in Palawan along with 11 other military awardees.
The Western Command (Wescom) Commander, Lt. Gen. Juancho M. Sabban, AFP, presented the “Gawad sa Kaunlaran” Medal to Commodore Joseph Rustom O. Peña, Philippine Navy, as fitting recognition for his contributions to community development. The award recognized Peña’s efforts during the show the flag mission last year, at a formal ceremony held at Camp Artemio Ricarte in Puerto Princesa City.
For his part, Sabban reiterated his gratitude for the assistance extended by the Navforwest, through the leadership and command of Peña, to the mission of Wescom to bring about conditions conducive to nation building and peace, progress, and prosperity in Palawan. He emphasized that the “Gawad sa Kaunlaran” is an award given for acts that are geared towards development which has been the cornerstone of the military command.
“The award of the Gawad sa Kaunlaran was given to Commodore Peña for his pursuits and infallible contributions to the socioeconomic and noncombat activities of the Western Command, and the AFP as a whole,” said Sabban.
In an interview, Peña shared the honor he received with the men and women that he worked with at the Naval Forces West. He acknowledged the effort and dedication of the Navy to help bring about peace and prosperity in areas that have been embroiled with strife and allow individuals and families to hope for a better future, while recognizing that more still needs to be done.
“Confident in our collective achievements over the past, I challenge all of you to continue moving forward in this common cause leveraging the same innovation, ingenuity and initiative that has brought us to this historic moment. It has been my distinct pleasure to serve with you,” said Peña said.
Also awarded during the ceremonies were the military merit medal conferred to three officers: Wescom Dental Service commanding officer Col. Loreto Comora; Maj. Nichols Camacho and Capt. Carmelito B. Cervantes of the dental services given for the conduct of dental civic action program dubbed as "Operation Bunot". Similarly, military commendation medals were given to ten enlisted personnel headed by Chief Master Sgt. Allan B. Brabante, Philippine Army, for their successful formulation of policies for the enhancement of the Western Command's operational thrusts both in internal peace and territorial defense operations under the office of the assistant chief of staff of the unified command.