By Francis Wakefield
Sailors of Naval Forces Western Mindanao received awards for foiling smuggling activities of MV Diamond 8 during the Flag Raising Ceremony held at the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Naval Station Romulo Espaldon, Bagong Calarian Zamboanga City, on Monday.
The Commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Rear Admiral Rene V. Medina with the Acting Commander, Naval Task Force 61, Capt. Joe Anthony C. Orbe, awarded the gallant sailors of BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS 38), Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (BA485) and NAVSOU6 with Bronze Cross Medal for the successful apprehension of the Mongolian-registered vessel, MV Diamond 8 for its illegal transport of smuggled rice.
The award was received by each unit’s representative, LCDR Ted C Cerezo Jr., Commanding Officer of PS 38; LCDR Cesar K Pangan Jr.; Commanding Officer of Boat Attack Division; LTJG Jaymar C Jayson and S1UO Rey M. Tano of NAVSOU6.
The award given to the gallant sailors merits their efficiency, loyalty and selfless devotion to duty in connection with the rescue and assistance mission rendered to M/V Diamond 8, which was subsequently apprehended for smuggling 1,359 metric tons of rice with an estimated market value of P67 million and the apprehension of 15 foreign crew and 51 illegally employed Filipinos with three minors in the vicinity off Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay Province last April 14, 2018.
“We witness the awarding of our deserving units in the recent successful anti-smuggling operation. Having heard the contents of the citations of the award for Bronze Cross medal, I hope that it will convey to all of us here, the inspiration of fulfilling our duty and mandate with bravery, dignity, and honor,” Medina said.
“Indeed, the dedication to duty and inspiration of the Sailors and Marines in the Western Mindanao had resulted to the successful conduct of maritime patrol and naval operations of the Philippine Navy,” he added.
Medina said the Philippine Navy through the Naval Forces Western Mindanao will continue to sustain its level of readiness at all times to protect our waters against any threats and lawless activities.