Press Release
September 6, 2014

Pimentel recommends appropriate awards for Fil-UN peacekeepers

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today proposed that appropriate awards be conferred on the 40 Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights for courageously defying calls for them to surrender to more numerous and heavily armed Syrian rebels at the siege of the Golan Heights recently.

He said the bravery displayed by Filipino soldiers who held their line at the United Nations-controlled area of the Golan Heights deserve such rewards, including cash incentives, and on-the-spot promotions, that are sanctioned by the rules of the country's Armed Forces from a gratefully proud nation.

The Filipino peacekeepers kept the Syrian rebels at bay in a seven-hour fierce shoot-out, and subsequently under cover of darkness, they were all able to escape capture by the rebels without any casualty.

"Let us bring our soldiers home soon," said Pimentel, adding that it is only most appropriate to pay tribute to the Filipino peacekeepers for their devotion to duty, gallantry in action and responsibility under the most trying of conditions.

He also said that the Philippine government should probably review its peacekeeping mission with the UN because of the escalation of tension and violence in Syria, where local rebels are fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in a bloody civil war.

"While we are under obligation to respect our commitments to the UN, it is also our duty to ensure that risks to the lives of our troops which volunteer for UN peace-keeping missions are kept to the minimum.

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