A documentary film featuring the heroism and gallantry of special forces in the early 1990s as led then by one of the current directors of Clark Development Corporation (CDC), recently bagged two awards at the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) 2020 in New York.
The movie titled “Kagitingan: A true story of Valor” was selected by IFFM and was awarded Best Screen Play and IFFM Most Popular Awards. The film narrates the heroic acts of then Captain Arturo Ortiz and his men from the 606th Special Forces Company in a firefight against a group of communist insurgents in Murcia, Negros Occidental in April 1990.
During the combat operations, the NPA who outnumbered the Philippine Army contingent lost 85 men while the government did not lose a single soldier in a fierce battle inside the lair and training camp of the insurgents.
With the successful military operations, Ortiz’s bravery and gallantry was recognized as he was awarded Medal of Valor – the highest military honor given to Filipino soldiers. Only 41 recipients were given the said honor since 1935 and of this award, 18 were awarded posthumously.
Aside from this, Ortiz has also received various recognitions during his military service. Some of these are two Gold Cross Medals, four Military Merit Medals, Combat Commander’s Badge, Military Parachutist Badge, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao Campaign Medals, as well as commendations such as Tagumpay award for Outstanding Soldier of Negros.
During his time at the Philippine Army, he handled positions such as Tactical Officer for Army Special Warfare Brigade, Team Leader of 10th Special Forces Company, Operations and Training Officer of the Combat Training Center in the Army Special Warfare Brigade, and Commander of 606 Special Forces Company. In 2003, he also served as the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Command Center – General Head Quarters. He also became the Commander of Task Force “Libra”, Commander of Special Forces Regiment, Commander of Special Operations Command, and Commanding General of the Philippine Army from 2010 to 2011.
Ortiz who hails from Cagayan De Oro City presently serves as one of the directors of CDC. He was appointed to the CDC Board on November 10, 2017.
Meanwhile, the documentary film written, directed, and edited by 1Lt. Balaram Tamayo outshined hundreds of other entries from various countries including United States of America (USA), Canada, Bulgaria, Estoria, India, Japan, Colombia, Spain, Germany, Macau, China, Russia, Italy, Myanmar, Tibet, Austria, and Switzerland. The IFFM hosted a “virtual” awarding through an online platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be viewed on Youtube.