Filipino Peacekeepers in the Golan Heights Get Prestigious UN Medal

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Top left photo: Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge, along with Defense Attache Colonel Bienvenido Y. Regondola, Jr., meets with
  UNDOF Force Commander Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha, UNDOF Chief of Staff Colonel Ezra James P. Enriquez (CAV) PA
     and Lieutenant Colonel Ted B. Dumosmog INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of the 7th PCGH, prior to the Medal Parade.  Top
         right photo: Ambassador Calonge arrives at Camp Ziouani, Golan Heights. Bottom left photo: Ambassador Calonge pins
               the UN Medals to the Filipino peacekeepers. Bottom right photo: Ambassador Calonge joins the UNDOF officials,
                                   Filipino troops and guests in a brief prayer ceremony for peace in the Golan Heights.
 

26 March 2014 Tel Aviv, State of Israel. After 112 days of performing peacekeeping operations, the members of the 7th Philippine Contingent to the Golan Heights (PCGH) received the prestigious United Nations Service Medal during the Medal Parade held on March 22, 2014 at Camp Ziouani. The awarding of the medals was led by Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge and UNDOF Force Commander Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha.

LTC Ted B. Dumosmog INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of the 7th PCGH and the first recipient of the medal in the group, congratulated his fellow peacekeepers, saying that receiving the award was one of the most significant events in a peacekeeper's life as it also signified the honorable recognition by the international community of the vital contribution of the Philippine Contingent in maintaining peace in the Golan Heights. He added that he felt proud for working with a group of people who are not only brave and talented, but also dedicated and focused in carrying out their duties.

UNDOF Force Commander Lieutenant General Singha also commended the performance of the Filipino peacekeepers and said that they have done exceedingly well in their mission. In his speech, he noted how the troops came well prepared and continued to make themselves physically and mentally disposed for their mission. He also praised them for taking proactive steps in intensifying efforts to achieve safety and security in their respective positions.

In his message, Ambassador Calonge encouraged the Filipino peacekeepers to carry on their good work in the mission and to continue performing their duties with honor and dedication. He congratulated them for their hard work and for doing well in representing the Philippines in the peace keeping operations in the Golan Heights. In connection with the anniversary of the Philippine Army, Ambassador Calonge encouraged the troops to follow the heroism and patriotism of General Artemio Ricarte, first Commanding General of the Philippine Army. He also urged them to emulate the example of General Malvar who surrendered only when there was no longer any choice. His courage and indomitable spirit are worthy examples to the Filipino soldier. The Ambassador ended his speech by wishing the troops well and saying that their country and people are proud of their achievements.

During the celebration of these two momentous events, the Filipino peacekeepers, with the support of the Philippine Embassy, took the opportunity to promote Philippine tourism, culture and traditions to the guests. The Philippine Embassy set up a booth to exhibit various local products, such as piña barong, capiz shells, placemats, key chains, and brochures featuring the best tourist spots in the Philippines.

The Philippines has been sending troops to UNDOF since 2009 when the Polish Contingent turned over its command to the country. With the 332 troops currently serving in UNDOF, the Philippines remains the 2nd biggest troop contributor to the peacekeeping mission. --END--

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                     Left photo: Peacekeepers from other countries check the local products exhibited at the Philippine booth.
                                   Right photo: Ambassador Calonge receives a token of appreciation from the 7th PCGH.