By Mario Casayuran
A Medal of Valor would be worth much more than a luxury wristwatch to soldiers who served the country well, Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.
Lacson, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1971, issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte had promised to give luxury wristwatches to future awardees of the Medal of Valor.
He said the Medal of Valor is rarely given since the opportunity for it rarely arises.
“To any soldier, a Medal of Valor is worth more than a hundred Rolex watches. Every soldier dreams of having one more than he dreams of owning a Rolex watch,” he said.
The Medal of Valor is rarely given, “not only because the feat itself that qualifies anybody from getting it is extraordinary, but more so, the opportunity very rarely arises,” he pointed out.
He emphasized that the Medal of Valor is the highest military honor for his or her supreme self-sacrifice and distinctive acts of heroism and gallantry.
Under Republic Act 9049, awardees of the Medal of Valor are entitled to a lifetime monthly gratuity of P20,000, aside from the salary or pension they are getting.
Medal of Valor awardees, their widow/widowers or dependents are also entitled to privileges including precedence in employment in government agencies if they are qualified.