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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

2LT Herbert D. Dilag: The Igorot Hero of Hill 898, Medal for Valor Awardee

Cordillera - This is the story of Lieutenant Colonel Herbert D. Dilag who received the highest Military Award in the Armed Forces on the Philippines (AFP). A story of  unparalleled bravery,  exceptional heroism, and highest degree of leadership coming from a Cordilleran warrior.

"In April of 2000, 2 Suicide Squads composing of 14 volunteer scout rangers were formed to attack the 210 fully armed members of thee Abu Sayaff Group who were holding 28 hostages at the notorious 898 Hill inside Camp Abdurajak. The young and dashing 2Lt. Dilag volunteered himself to be the Team Leader of the other suicide squad.
Uncertain of what could happen to them, the members of the Squads, left their valuables to their supporting comrades to be further given to their love ones, in anticipation of their deaths. The Squad headed by 2Lt. Herbert Dilag rushed-up the 30-meter 80-degree slope and bypassed 48 enemy improvised landmines. With cunning stealth, the "Suicide Squads" were able to secure and clear the area.
Photo Courtesy || Kalinga Tourism, Philippines
The 3 day intense firefight resulted to the killing of 68 member of the Abu Sayyaf Group, and the recovery of the unharmed hostages.
The 14 Ranger man team suffered massive casualties but 2Lt. Dilag carried his men one by one and place them to a safe location while he single-handly stand his ground and act as the team one sniper shooting the enemy mortar operator and machine gunners. 2Lt. Dilag killed 27 rebels during the assault which resulted in the demoralization of the enemies forcing them to back down and paved the way for the main troops to finally secure the area.
By this display of exceptional courage and a high degree of leadership, SECOND LIEUTENANT DILAG distinguished himself in combat, keeping the finest tradition of Filipino Soldiery. He was awarded MEDAL OF VALOR the highest award in the AFP for bravery. 

2Lt. Dilag's statement while he teared up upon receiving the MEDAL OF VALOR awarded by the President of the Philippines.
"We woke up at 2:00 then we took off. We hadn't slept and it was raining. Our progress was slow due to the thick jungle growth. When we engaged the enemy, we had to use one hand to hold unto tree roots, while the other hand fired the weapon. For 24 hours we withstood the steep terrain, hunger, tension and fatigue.  Then you would hear the groans of your wounded comrades saying, 'Sir, let's retreat, I'm suffering blood loss. My wounds hurt, will I live sir', words to that effect. You will then discover that you do have an untapped reservoir of courage." 

Source ||
Uncommon True Valor Story of 2Lt Herbert D. Dilag
by Lt. Col Ruben Guinolbay, Medal of Valor Nominee
Via Kalinga Tourism, Philippines Facebook Page


Unknown said...

saludo ako sa buong team mo sir.

Unknown said...

Bravo! Unaparalleled courage! Salute!

Anonymous said...

Napaka tatag at totoong sundalo ka 2nd Lt Dilag pagpalain ka pa ng Diyos at magka roon ng mga anak na magpapakita rin ng katapangan at may kasamang kahinahunan at talino sa lahat ng aspeto, saludo sa iyo ang Chaplain Sevice

Anonymous said...

Nagtitindigan mga buhok sa katawan ko pag nababasa ko ang ipinamamalas na katapangan ng mga sundalo at pulis at mas lalo na sa mga mandirigmang igorot.. Matago tago kayo

Anonymous said...

I salute to your bravery and saving the lives of your men and hostages. God Bless you and the Cordilleras are so proud of you🇵🇭🙏🙏🙏

Anonymous said...

they should make a movie out of this story to inspire people.

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