ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Three soldiers who were with the group that neutralized Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) commander Albader Parad were given wounded personnel medals on Monday by Philippine Marine Corps Commandant Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban and Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino at the Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga.
Sabban described the operation in sitio Tukay, barangay Karawan, Maimbung, Sulu as "perfect" after the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) killed Albader Parad and 5 other members of the Abu Sayyaf.
Sabban, however, sadly noted that one of the soldiers was killed during the operation.
He said that the operation was a fruit of their intensified operations.
Sabban said it will just be a matter of time before other high-profile sub-commanders of the Abu Sayyaf, such as Radulan Sahiron, are neutralized.
Sabban said they are very sure of the identity of Parad's body, after several of Parad's relatives identified and claimed his body.
He said they also had several kidnap victims of Parad's group help confirm the identity.
They also conducted an autopsy of Parad's cadaver hours after his body was brought to the battalion. The family who claimed Parad's body immediately buried him according to Islamic traditions.
Two of the 3 wounded soldiers said their morale was boosted after finding out they finally killed Parad.
Corporal Marcelino Landicho said he was glad they were at least able to see the fruits of their labor. He said they consider the incident as encouragement to work more for the country. He said it makes them want to go back to Sulu and fight again for peace and order.
The 3 who were given Wounded Personnel Medals were Private First Class (PFC) Joselito Carreon, Corporal Anthony Carmona, and Corporal Marcelino Landicho. Most of them sustained bullet shrapnels.
The name of the soldier who was killed while undergoing medical treatment has not been released yet by the Western Mindanao Command.
Other than the medals, they were also given certificates and comfort kits.
Dolorfino said Parad has a reward of $1 million dollars and P7 million pesos for kidnapping high-profile victims, including 3 humanitarian workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).