MANILA, Philippines—Members of the Marine battalion who attacked Abu Sayyaf forces on Jolo island and killed Abu Sayyaf leader Albader Parad in 2010 were honored in simple ceremonies at the Philippine Navy Headquarters, a military spokesman said on Friday.
Lieutenant Colonel Omar Tonsay of the Philippine Navy said that honors were accorded Thursday to the 19 officers and 424 enlisted personnel of the Battalion Landing Team 4.
The team was led by MLBT 4 Commander Colonel Elias Juson Jr., Tonsay said, adding the soldiers are in Manila for a retraining after 10 years of battling lawless groups in Mindanao.
Parad was among the Abu Sayyaf members who seized 21 Asian and European tourists from Sipadan Island Diving Resort in Sandakan, Sabah in April 2000.
On February 20, 2010, Parad was killed during an attack by the Philippine troops on Jolo island.
Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama lauded the Marines for their accomplishments in Mindanao, Tonsay said.
In 2008, the Marine team stormed marijuana plantations in Sulu, seizing P32 million worth of the illegal weeds.
Aside from combat operations, the Marine team is also involved in community and humanitarian work, such as construction of roads, water systems and school buildings. They also teach local residents about seaweeds farming technology.