ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/27 February) – The Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) has awarded Bronze Cross Medals to the seven-man International Monitoring Team (IMT) Site 3 in recognition for their acts of heroism and job well done as peace observers.
The awardees comprise of five Malaysians, three Indonesians and two Brunei nationals who compose the IMT Site 3 based at Camp Basilio Navarro in this city, according to Col. Rodrigo Rebollos, WestMinCom spokesman.
Rebollos said the awarding ceremony was held immediately after Monday’s flag ceremony at Camp Navarro that houses the WestMinCom headquarters.
Brig. Gen. Eugenio Clemen, WestMinCom deputy commander, pinned the Bronze Cross Medals to the awardees headed by Col. Mohammad Halim Bin Khalid of the Royal Malaysian Army.
“The award was bestowed for their acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy but involving risk of life during their service here in the region,” Rebollos said.
“They disregarded personal safety by actively pacifying and preventing armed confrontations between warring clans in Basilan, Zamboanga Sibugay, and Zamboanga del Norte provinces,” he added.
One of the conflict settlements they actively participated was last January 21 between Ustadz Amir Mingkong of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bakkal family in Barangay Baas, Sumisip, Basilan province, Rebollos said.
He said the IMT Site 3 members have actively assisted government and MILF panels, local government units and civil society organizations in the conduct of a series of advocacies on the Framework of Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).
Rebellos said their efforts “greatly helped the local populace in deeply understanding the agreement.”
The seven-man IMT Site 3, which has jurisdiction over Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Palawan, was deployed on March 3, 2012 and is set to end their tour of duty on March 23 this year. (MindaNews)