BAGUIO CITY – Another Cordilleran soldier who sacrificed his life for the country was laid to rest in his hometown in Pinukpuk, Kalinga.
Army Corporal Adonis Valera, a Scout Ranger and a member of the 86th Infantry Battalion, was shot in an encounter between elements of the communist terrorist group in Barangay Villa Rey, Echague, Isabela on December 14.
Philippine Army 5th Infantry Division Spokesperson Major Noriel Tayaban said that the 86th IB responded to reports of extortion activities in Barangay Villa Rey by alleged members of the New Peoples Army from the Regional Sentro de Gravidad Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) that led to fire fight.
The encounter that ensued between the government forces and a still unidentified number of rebels lasted for more than 20 minutes. Unfortunately, Valera was seriously hit while Corporal Harold Ganagan of Tinglayan, Kalinga and Fajaro Manuel of Paracelis, Mountain Province were wounded.
Valera was among the heroes of the Marawi siege that fought against the communist terrorists for the liberation of Marawi in 2017. He was a recipient of the Gold Cross Medal from President Rodrigo Duterte for his gallantry of action during the Marawi siege.
Tayaban said that the Army intensified the military operations in Cagayan Valley Region in anticipation of possible terrorism attack by the NPA rebels to the military and police camps, communication installations and heavy equipment on the founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26.
MGen. Pablo Lorenzo, 5th Infantry Division Commanding General, hailed the bravery and gallantry of the Kalinga warrior during a funeral mass ceremony held at the Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela before he was brought to his hometown.
He said Valera is a true warrior and a full blooded Startrooper, who paid the ultimate sacrifice by dedicating his life for the liberation of the people of Isabela against the CTGs.
“The people of Isabela and your fellow Startroopers will always be indebted to you. Rest in peace, hero.” (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)