Lucio G. Curig
Allegiance Philippines
Service/branch Philippine Army
Rank
Staff Sergeant
Service number704115
Unit11th Scout Ranger Company,
1st Scout Ranger Regiment
Battles/warsMoro conflict
Awards
Medal of Valor

Lucio G. Curig is a retired Philippine Army enlisted trooper and a recipient the Philippines' highest military award for courage, the Medal of Valor.[1]

Action against the Abu Sayyaf

In March 2000, Abu Sayyaf militants abducted approximately 28-29 civilians including schoolchildren, a Catholic priest and two teachers in Basilan. Curig was part of a Scout Ranger unit under the command of Major Roberto Caldeo tasked with pursuing the kidnappers and rescuing the hostages. On 28 April 2000, Curig's unit assaulted the Abu Sayyaf camp where the hostages were being held. The Scout Rangers were able to surprise the Abu Sayyaf militants but due to advantage in terrain, the militants were able to pin down the government security forces and hold their ground.

On the third day of the operation, Caldeo decided that two squads of Scout Rangers would have to volunteer and make an all-out assault up the steep terrain to clear out the bunkers keeping the rest of the government forces pinned down.[2] Curig volunteered for one of the "suicide squads". After four hours of intense fighting, they managed to clear the bunkers as the Abu Sayyaf retreated. Recovered were the beheaded bodies of the two hostaged teachers.[3]

Curig was conferred the Medal of Valor for his actions during the battle. Roberto Caldeo, who had by then been promoted to Colonel, committed suicide in April 2008; allegedly due to stress suffered as a result of the operation that killed six of his men.[4][5][6]

Medal of Valor citation

STAFF SERGEANT LUCIO G CURIG 704115 PA
Isabela, Basilan - 28–30 April 2000

"From 28 to 30 April 2000, the 11th Scout ranger Company (SRC) Team, assaulted Hill 898 in Camp Abdurajak, the highly fortified Abu Sayyaf lair where 28 civilians were being held hostage in Punoh Mohaji, Sumisip Basilan. Heavy fire fight ensued as the enemy confronted the soldiers with a counterattack, killing four rangers and wounding 20 others. Despite the casualties and heavy volume of enemy fire, SSGT CURIG stood his ground by digging his foxhole 20 meters away from the Abu Sayyaf from where, for the next 24 hours, he delivered sniper fire hitting the enemy who tried to overrun the leftmost position of the 11th SRC. He provided cover fire for his officers and wounded comrades, thereby giving them the opportunity to move to safer grounds and prevented the enemy from closing in. After another day of intense, determined and fierce fighting, SSGT CURIG and 13 other rangers volunteered for and organized a "suicide squad" to execute the final assault. Thoroughly exhausted yet unmindful of losing their lives, they rushed towards the enemy's fortified defenses and carried out an intense bunker-to-bunker close battle. With overwhelming force, SSGT CURIG and his comrades secured the whole north eastern tip sector defended by Khadafy Janjalani's group and paved the way for the subsequent clearing of the remaining cluster of the Abu Sayyaf's fortifications and forced the bandits to withdraw."[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ Fonbuena, Carmela (20 December 2017). "FAST FACTS: List of Medal of Valor awardees and their privileges". Rappler. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Comrades pay tribute to fallen Army hero". ABS-CBN News. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Hostages beheaded in Philippines". BBC News. 6 May 2000. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  4. ^ Villanueva, Rhodina (26 April 2008). "Colonel had past suicide attempts". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  5. ^ Guinto, Joel. "Comrades: Caldeo 3rd vet of 2000 Basilan clash in 'suicide'". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  6. ^ Reyes, Victor. "Lack of stress therapy blamed for colonel's suicide". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  7. ^ Philippine Army. "Medal for Valor Awardees: STAFF SERGEANT LUCIO G CURIG 704115 PA". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2018.