SULU - Three of the 15 soldiers killed by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in an encounter in Patikul town last month were laid to rest Saturday morning.
READ: 15 soldiers killed in Sulu clash with Abu Sayyaf
Sergeant Rogelio Vincoy Jr. was interred in Lanao del Norte with full military honors. He is survived by his two-year old daughter, and his wife Jonalyn, who is four months pregnant.
His elder brother Joseph, who is also an army soldier, said the government should remain tough in its stance against the Abu Sayyaf.
While the military observe the rules of war, the ASG are ruthless in treating their captives, Vincoy's sibling said.
Private First Class Roselito Arnoco, meanwhile, was buried in Zamboanga del Sur.
Second Lieutenant Ernan Gusto was laid to rest in Alcala, Cagayan.
"It is hard to accept, but we have no choice because we took an oath to protect our motherland," Gusto's brother PO3 Junar Gusto said.
READ: Duterte: Abu Sayyaf lost my respect
In August, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the armed forces to "destroy" the terrorist group, which is behind the beheading of several hostages in Mindanao.
The group also took responsibility for an explosion in a Davao City night market on September 2, which claimed 14 lives and wounded at least 60.
With reports from Harris Julio and Dynah Diestro, ABS-CBN News