PH peacekeepers in Golan Heights cited by DFA
Philippine military peacekeepers of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force who were caught in a standoff with Syrian rebels last year were cited during the celebration of the UN Peacekeepers Day on Tuesday.
Captain Nilo Ramones Jr. and Captain Rogecel Labajo, both platoon leaders of UN Positions 68 and 69, led the UN peacekeepers in accepting the award given to them at the Department of Foreign Affairs Lobby and Bulwagang Apolinario Mabini (DFA Auditorium).
“Both platoon leaders were cited for their display of exemplary courage and determination in carrying out their responsibilities despite the challenges and call for surrender. The platoon leaders refused to give in to the demand of the rebels to lay down their arms. They instead, provided outstanding leadership in directing all actions that repelled harassment and heavy gun fires from approximately one hundred fifty (150) Syrian rebels surrounding their position,” said acting public affairs office chief Lieutenant Colonel Marlowe Patria.
In late August last year, the peacekeepers stealthily escaped their outpost in Golan Heights after being trapped for five days while being were surrounded by Syrian rebels.
Dubbed by Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. as the “the greatest escape,” the peacekeepers were able to get away after a seven-hour gunbattle on the fifth day of being surrounded by the rebels. While the rebels were sleeping, the peacekeepers traveled two hours to meet up with other forces.
“These officers’ actions are manifestation of true Filipino bravery and fortitude amidst any crisis based on UN rules of engagement and in the defense of UN mandate, which earned credit not only to the peacekeeping community but also for whole country,” said Colonel Roberto Ancan, the commanding officer of AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center. AC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.