FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija ā€“ The 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division and its subordinate units received an award from the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 3 at Jose Siongco Lapid Sports and Civic Center Gymnasium, Porac, Pampanga yesterday at 2:00 pm.

7ID’s units are one of those who helped during the rescue operation after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake jolted Pampanga and nearby provinces on April 22.

The 703rd Infantry (Agila) Brigade and 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion along other Army units like the 525th Engineering Battalion were recognized by OCD during the event.

Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana, Secretary of the Department of National Defense graced the event as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.

The awarding ceremony was attended by Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel B Salamat AFP, Commander of the Northern Luzon Command and the leadership of 7ID headed by Major General Lenard T Agustin AFP, Commander.

Aside from the units from Philippine Army, other government units such as the Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire and Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Red Cross, Municipal Social Welfare and Development – Porac and Rescue Teams from Pampanga and Bulacan also received an award during the ocassion.

Major General Lenard T Agustin AFP, Commander conveyed that it is an honor to give a helping hand to our fellow Filipinos specially those who are in need. He also said that may it be during times of calamity or not, 7ID is always ready to assist the people.

Further, MGen Agustin said, “It has been one week after the earthquake and yet we haven’t monitored any form of help provided by left leaning organizations or even those party lists running in the election which were identified supporting the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs). So once again, I challenge the people to be discerning in choosing the party list that they will vote”.

“It was said that during trials, you will know who are your real friends or ally and even those will really help you when you are down. The government is always ready to give aid to the people while the CTGs wants to tear down the government. You need our help and we need you, our kababayan. Let us help each other”, MGen Agustin added.

Brigadier General Rowen S Tolentino AFP, Commander, 703Bde said that the Agila Troopers are always ready to help. He also added that the soldiers keep on training and honing their skills in its rescue operations aside from the usual military training so if the need arises, the troops can be deployed at a moment’s notice.

“We want to assure the public that while we perform rescue operations, we are always on the alert on any possible attack that the CTGs will make against the government. Likewise, as we perform our duty, especially now that the election is fast approaching, we are ready to perform disaster rescue operations anytime”, Lieutenant Colonel Felix Emeterio Valdez, Acting Battalion Commander of 48IB said.