By: Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star
Sunday, 05 September 2010
Marines who refused a bribe offer in Patikul,
Sulu during the May 2010 elections have been
awarded the Philippine Marine Corps Plaque.
In a statement, Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said feted were 2Lt. Marcelo Flores
and his 15-man team deployed to secure poll
precincts in Kaumpang Elementary School.
"The team ... was reportedly approached by
campaign leaders and supporters of local
candidates who offered them money. They
wanted the Marines to leave the school to
let the unscrupulous politicians to fill
up the remaining ballots for their favored
candidates," Arevalo said.
He said Pfc. Rhomel Divina, one of the
members of the team, was approached by a
campaign leader and offered Pl00,000.
Divina turned down the offer and told the
briber that his money "cannot buy my
SSgt. William Magpili was reportedly told
that he would be taken care of as long as
he would allow the men to fill up the rest
of the ballots. Magpili also rejected the offer.
"The award given to them is unique. It gives
importance to their display of integrity,
devotion to duty and incorruptibility,"
"Their heroism was displayed during the
time when people tended to doubt the outcome of
the elections... What they did was critical
since it was the first automated elections."