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Metrobank Foundation announces the 2012 outstanding Philippine soldiers

Ten exemplary soldiers from the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force and Corps of Professors were named 2012 awardees in the Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS). This was announced by the Metrobank Foundation and the Rotary Club of Makati Metro during a Press Conference held at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

These outstanding soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are: Colonel Milfredo M. Melegrito, Master Sergeant Juana R. Hernal and Technical Sergeant Rolando L. Diomangay, from the Philippine Army; Captain Erick A. Kagaoan, Engineman Second Class Arce D. Balasabas and Engineman Third Class Ricky R. Burgos, from the Philippine Navy; Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Z. Francisco, Jr., Senior Master Sergeant Augusto D. Reyes and Master Sergeant Emerito R. Angcao from the Philippine Air Force; and Colonel Raul J. Tangco, Prof, from the Technical & Administrative Services – Corps of Professors.

“We are proud to present to the entire nation ten of the most dedicated and accomplished members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” says Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña. “More than being the private sector’s expression of gratitude to the sacrifices of our soldiers, TOPS also highlights the contributions of the men and women of the military, as vanguards of peace and democracy, to nation building and development,” he continued. 

The awardees will be feted together with the winners of the Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT) and Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS) dubbed as the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos on September 5 this year during the Metrobank’s 50th Anniversary. TOPS winners will receive a cash prize of P300,000 and a trophy courtesy of the Metrobank Foundation.

The awardees were selected by a multi-sectoral Final Board of Judges chaired by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francisco H. Villaruz, Jr. Members include Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ma. A. Maranan, OSB, Rector-President of San Beda College Mendiola; Mr. Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., President and COO of GMA Network, Inc.; Former Ambassador of the Philippines to Vatican and now Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Ambassador Henrietta T. de Villa; Mr. Peter Wallace, Chairman of The Wallace Business Forum; and the Chairman and Senior Partner of Isla Lipana & Co., Ms. Judith V. Lopez. 

“The twenty finalists are really extraordinary. When I read over the documentation of the finalists, I feel there are a great bulk of soldiers in the country who are good and who are really doing their best for the service of the people,” says Justice Villaruz.

The Metrobank Foundation, along with the Rotary Club of Makati Metro, annually holds the Search for TOPS to honor the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces who go beyond their call of duty and to highlight their achievements and efforts towards achieving peace and building the nation.

Among this year’s awardees are enlisted personnel of Philippine Army, Master Sergeant Juana R. Hernal, Branch Non-Commissioned Officer at the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training who is sponsoring the education of twelve students from different year levels enrolled in Isabela, Lanao Del Sur and Davao City.

Another awardee is Philippine Navy’s former Commander of Naval Task Force 62, Captain Erick A. Kagaoan who, under his leadership on his Internal Security Operations (ISO), prevented the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) from establishing strongholds in Tawi-Tawi. This was done through continuous presence in the island municipalities and constant consultation with political leaders and other stakeholders.

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The Metrobank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group, was established by its Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty in 1979. With the theme “Excel. Engage. Empower.”, the Foundation has promoted a culture of excellence among Filipinos through its various programs, such as the Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE), the Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), the Search for the Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS), the Metrobank Math Challenge (MMC), College Scholarship Program (CSP) and Excellence in Judiciary Program (EJP). It also supports social development projects through like-minded organizations that have sought to uplift the lives of the disadvantaged groups and marginalized sectors in the society. “Converging to Inspire Change!” serves as the battlecry of the Foundation this year.  After 33 years, it shall continue to uphold values of excellence and champion its chosen stakeholders and the rest of our communities. It aims to strength ties with institutional partners in both public and private sectors such that there will always be a venue to further honor those who are able to reach their highest potential. Today, the Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to remain a leader in corporate social responsibility by initiating and supporting leading edge programs that uplift the lives of our people and inspire the best in the Filipinos.