PROFILES OF TOPS 2012 AWARDEES
Colonel Milfredo M. Melegrito
Unit of Assignment: Land Warfare Center, Training and Doctrine Command, Camp O'Donell, Sta. Lucia, Capas, Tarlac
Years in Service: 25 years
Working relentlessly in the pursuit of peace, Colonel Melegrito successfully led operations against insurgency in Cagayan Valley. He was also responsible for the recovery of high-powered firearms and documents after his team captured major rebel camps in Northern and Northeastern Luzon. Aside from fighting insurgency, Col. Melegrito led Philippine Army’s efforts against illegal drugs, seizing hectares of marijuana plantation in Kalinga Apayao. Col. Melegrito believes that soldiery is a noble profession that is synonymous to service. This soldier from Isabela is also actively involved in civic organizations in Tuguegarao City such as Rotary Club and the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals.
Technical Sergeant Rolando L. Diomangay
Designation: Chief Clerk Adjutant
Unit of Assignment: 53rd Engineer Brigade, Philippine Army, Camp Lapulapu, Cebu City
Years in Service: 20 years
Throughout his career, Technical Sergeant Diomangay has worked to “serve the Filipino people and to secure the land” which, he believes, can only be possible through cooperation among the civilians. His pursuit for peace had once brought him face-to-face with danger, sustaining wounds from a landmine in 1991 in Eastern Samar. TSgt. Diomangay has earned medals and commendation for his extraordinary acts of courage, including the Award of the Combat Kagitingan Badge with one Bronze Service Star and the Military Merit Medal with Bronze Spearhead Device. As an active participant in the Kalayaan Barangay Program (KBP), TSgt. Diomangay has helped the Philippine Army deliver basic infrastructure projects to the rural areas. For instance, he has helped build classrooms in his native Samar and a water system in Negros Oriental. With these projects, he has re-introduced the value of bayanihan among his comrades to speed up construction in conflict-stricken areas. The current Chief Clerk Adjutant lives by integrity and discipline, encouraging his comrades to do the same.
Master Sergeant Juana R. Hernal
Designation: Branch Non-Commissioned Officer
Unit of Assignment: Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training, Philippine Army, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Years in Service: 22 years
Master Sergeant Hernal feels proud to be a soldier since it is the only profession where men and women risk their lives to achieve peace. In a career dominated by men, MSgt. Hernal was instrumental in developing education and training manuals for the Armed Forces. She and her team received the prestigious Sagisag ng Ulirang Kawal Award for conceptualizing a highly responsive training manual on Army Education. She also made the country proud when she emerged on top of the Financial Management and Comptroller Specialist training course in Mississippi, USA with an average of 99.2%. Despite the challenges of supporting the education of her five children, Msgt. Hernal currently sponsors twelve students who are enrolled in Isabela, Lanao Del Sur, and Davao City respectively. She is also actively involved in church activities.
Captain Erick A. Kagaoan
Unit of Assignment: Naval Management and Fiscal Office, Headquarters Naval Station Jose V. Andrada, Manila
Years in Service: 25 years
Captain Kagaoan recounts his stint in Tawi-Tawi as something memorable, fulfilling his mandate of ensuring peace and security in the country. As the Commander of Naval Task Force 62, he is in-charge of conducting Internal Security Operations (ISO) and Territorial Defense Operations (TDO) in Tawi-Tawi. With coordination from local leaders, he prevented rebel groups from establishing strongholds in the province. He also was instrumental in resolving conflicts among the warring tribes of Samals and Tausog to ensure the safe return of around 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs). The current Director of the Naval Management and Fiscal Office was instrumental in conducting the first PMA Entrance Examination in Tawi-Tawi, giving local students the opportunity to enter the country’s premier military academy. Capt Kagaoan also finds time for civil duties, conducting dental and medical missions in areas were health centers are remotely situated. He is also an active member of Tawi-Tawi Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC).
Engineman Second Class (EN2) / PO2 (Staff Sergeant) Arce D. Balasabas
Designation: Petty Officer-in-Charge
Unit of Assignment: Maintenance and Repair Branch, Headquarters Fleet Maintenance and Support Group, Eastern Mindanao, Naval Station, Felix Apolinario Camp, Panacan, Davao City
Years in Service: 28 years
A brush with danger has always been part of the job for Engineman Second Class Balasbas. For instance, his unit was actively involved in rescue and retrieval operations of Typhoon Sendong victims in Agusan Del Norte. A skilled carpenter and welder, EN2 Balasbas constructed tools that are distributed and used in the Navy’s repair missions. His adept hands have been helpful in repairing 61 in-house Navy vessel machineries in Eastern Mindanao, enabling the Navy to save millions and sustain its operations in Mindanao. Despite the demands of his work, EN2 Balasbas assists local governments and partners in Mindanao to maintain peace and order amidst constant threats of lawlessness and insurgency.
Engineman Third Class (EN3) (Sergeant) Ricky R. Burgos
Designation: Petty Officer-in-Charge
Unit of Assignment: Naval Intelligence and Security Group Unit 2 - Western Mindanao, Naval Station Romulo Espaldon, Bagong Calarian, Zamboanga City
Years in Service: 17 years
Engineman Third Class Sergeant Burgos will never forget how he had helped a fishing community in Zamboanga Peninsula get back to its feet when he and his comrades successfully neutralized a group of bandits who were extorting from the fisherfolks. EN3 Burgos was at the helm of the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Community Group (JAPICG) which provides leadership and criminal justice down to the barangay level while upholding privacy and civil rights of individuals. EN3 Burgos’s excellent management skills have contributed to successful operations against piracy and extortion in the peninsula. The Petty Officer-in-Charge from Zamboanga Sibugay also takes time to campaign for his environment advocacies, conducting information drives as well as coastal cleanups.
PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE
Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Z. Francisco, Jr.
Designation: Deputy Group Commander
Unit of Assignment: 505 Search and Rescue Group, Villamor Airbase, Pasay City
Years in Service: 20 years
Since Lieutenant Colonel Francisco joined the Air Force in 1992, he has miraculously survived an almost-impossible combat mission in Zamboanga and rescued individuals trapped in raging lahar. He has also witnessed the disasters brought upon by typhoons while rescuing infants, children, and mountaineers. These extraordinary feats have inspired Lt. Col. Francisco to wholeheartedly serve the country as the current Deputy Group Commander of PAF’s 505 Search and Rescue Group. His extraordinary leadership at the 5051st Search and Rescue Unit helped his squadron win the Squadron of the Year Award in 2009. Likewise Lt. Col. Francisco was recognized as the Squadron Commander of the Year. While most of his missions were related to rescue and relief operations, Lt. Col. Francisco also became the Security Officer and the Aide-de-Camp of Former President Joseph Estrada. PAF’s top gun is also a man who is active in community service. He has initiated medical and dental missions, blood donation programs, and cleanups, as well as extended assistance to the out-of-school youth in his home city of Malabon.
Senior Master Sergeant Augusto D. Reyes
Designation: Overall Non Commissioned Officer-in-Charge
Unit of Assignment: Assistant Chief of Air Staff for CMO A-7 HPAF, Pasay City
Years in Service: 30 years
What started as a dream of saving lives for Senior Master Sergeant Reyes became a reality when he joined the military in 1981. Disregarding his own safety, he once entered an empty water tank to save three trapped individuals from death. As Typhoon Ondoy pummeled Luzon in September 2009, SMSgt. Reyes led PAF’s Task Force Ondoy, collecting and distributing relief goods and medicines to victim-survivors in his province of Pangasinan, as well as in Zambales, Baguio, Laguna and Manila. These selfless acts of valor have earned him numerous awards and commendations. His commitment to peace and national sovereignty had been recognized in 1991 through the Presidential Citation for Exceptional Loyalty, Fidelity and Extraordinary Achievement. Despite these recognitions, SMSgt. Reyes finds time to do advocacy works. He coordinated PAF’s Operation Linis on the aftermath of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng as well as AFP’s Oplan Baklas, cleaning up 2010 election paraphernalia in Metro Manila and Laguna. He is also involved in civil military operations, such as tree-planting, gift-giving, and Adopt-a-Child programs.
Master Sergeant Emerito R. Angcao
Designation: Communication/Navigation Technician
Non Commissioned Officer-in-Charge
Unit of Assignment: 463rd Avionics Armament Maintenance Squadron, 15th Strike Wing, Sangley Point, Cavite
Years in Service: 24 years
His love for the country has inspired Master Sergeant Angcao to pursue a military career. While others are adept at combat, MSgt. Angcao uses his skills as a Communication/Navigation Technician to serve the country. Thanks to his innovations and skillful hands, the Philippine Air Force has saved in costs which were used for other projects. His expertise had also been instrumental in staging air combat operations against the MILF guerillas in Maguindanao. Msgt. Angcao received the Bronze Cross Medal and the Military Merit Medal with Bronze Spearhead Device in 2000 for his heroic acts in Buldon, Maguindanao. Hailing from Cavite, Msgt. Angcao believes that a good heart gives one the courage to face any obstacles. While Msgt. Angcao displays valiance and chivalry at work, he finds time to do his civic duties. He is an active member of “Adopt a Barangay and School Programs” of the 463rd Avionics Armament Maintenance Squadron. Every year, before school begins, he volunteers to clean classrooms and repair the facilities.
TECHNICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES – CORPS OF PROFESSORS
Colonel Raul J. Tangco
Designation: Dean of Academics
Unit of Assignment: Academic Group, Philippine Military Academy
Years in Service: 28 years
Colonel Tangco thought that by becoming a soldier, he can maximize his potentials and fulfill his dream of serving the government. His calling as an educator of future soldiers had been sealed when he became the Chief of Academic Staff in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). As its current Dean of Academics, he has faced the challenge of encouraging and motivating the cadets to be more serious about their learning experience at the academy, so he has sought innovative ways on enhancing academic performance among cadets by improving the current teaching methods. A father of two daughters and a native of Pangasinan, Col. Tangco also believes that a good heart can influence good deeds from others, so he joins his students in various community services to promote solidarity between the military and the civilian community. Aside from his academic and community involvement, he also addressed the issue of resigning cadets on their first year by implementing the nationwide pre-cadet training, providing candidates a first-hand experience on military life in the academy. His most notable achievement is the establishment of the Academy Research Group, emphasizing a culture of academic excellence in the PMA community.