June 20, 2024

The Medal of Valor, the highest military honor for bravery, was posthumously conferred to an Igorot Marine who died after saving his fellow soldiers during the 2017 Marawi siege.
The late Marine Cpl. Gener C. Tinangag of Barlig, Mountain Province was feted the award by virtue of the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Order 813 on May 31 “for acts of conspicuous courage, gallantry, and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty.”
Tinangag, who was 22 years old then, served as an assistant automatic rifleman of the Special Operations Platoon of the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT)-5 of the Philippine Navy. It was his unit that was among the first reinforcements when the Maute terror group laid siege in Marawi City on May 23, 2017 in an attempt to establish a caliphate or base of Islamic State in the country.
On June 9, 2017, the MBLT-5 reinforced MBLT-7 and Marine Special Operations Group in the vicinity of Mapandi Bridge in Lilod Madaya, Marawi City.
Tinangag, along with three other Marines, volunteered to evacuate the wounded and killed soldiers to the casualty collection point under heavy fire and enemy snipers.
After numerous trips of evacuating the wounded and killed troops, Tinangag and his team decided to seek cover and rest.
However, Tinangag, disregarding his own safety and acting without orders, crawled through the rubbles to get close to other casualties despite being exposed from the enemies’ line of fire.
He made four more separate trips to rescue four wounded Marines, namely Corporals Rolan Sumagpang, Michael Santos, Franclin Sumalde, and Private First Class Pfizer Paglinawan who were holed up inside a mosque adjacent to the cluster of building being attacked by the terrorist group.
“With his repeated efforts to save lives and sensing the most likelihood of the enemy to inflict further casualties, Tinangag bravely continued his way to the location of his comrades in distress without hesitation and disregarding notions of death,” the citation reads.
Due to his movements, it attracted enemy snipers in the nearby buildings, who shifted their fire towards the direction of the brave Marine, who continued to return to the area to extract his comrades who are wounded or killed in action.
He single-handedly recovered the body of 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano, but took a sniper shot to his stomach and was peppered with shrapnel from an enemy grenade.
Despite his wounds, he carried the body of Savellano to the casualty collection point, away from the kill zone. It was then that he collapsed due to his wounds and was pronounced dead in a medical station hours later.
Tinangag had saved four lives and retrieved one body in exchange for his own life in those five hours of intense battle against the Maute group.    
“His selfless sacrifice raised the morale of troops to valiantly advance in a ferocious battle and subsequently liberated Marawi City from the terrorists. By this singular display of heroism, Private First Class Gener C. Tinangag distinguished himself in combat, keeping with the finest traditions of Filipino soldiery,” the citation reads.
Four months after Tinangag’s death, on Oct. 23, 2017, the war ended and Marawi City was liberated from the terrorists.
Under the law, the Medal of Valor recipient, his widow, or dependents, are privileged to receive preferential treatment when applying for government work, public housing, loans not exceeding P500,000, and lease or acquisition of public land.
Children of the recipient who wish to attend the Philippine Military Academy, if qualified, will receive priority for commission into the AFP upon graduation. They will also receive free medication from public and private hospitals. – Ofelia C. Empian