Aquino pays last respects to soldiers

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday extended the nation’s gratitude to the soldiers killed in fierce clashes with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Patikul, Sulu province.

The slain troops were members of the Philippine Marines’ Force Recon Class-18. The firefight left a young lieutenant and six enlisted personnel dead and nine others wounded.

The President visited the wake at the Philippine Marines Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City and offered sympathy and financial aid to the families of Second Lieutenant Alfredo Lorin VI, Private First Class Jay Alasian, Private First Class Jayson Durante, Private First Class Andres Bogwana, Private First Class Rene Gare, Private First Class Roxan Pizarro, and Private First Class Dominador Sabejon, Jr.

The military has ordered an investigation into the deaths of the soldiers to determine if there were lapses in the operation.

But for Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin, the military investigation is not necessary and security officials should instead focus on running after the Abu Sayyaf.

“It is unfair to investigate whether there were lapses or none, the brave soldiers who died in the battle had sacrificed their lives for the interest of the many, and the best thing now to do is for the military to launch an all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf,” Amin told The Manila Times.

He said private citizens who are fed up with the atrocities of the Abu Sayyaf have joined the hunt for the rebels.

“I am supporting our police and military in putting a stop to Abu Sayyaf atrocities. I have put up rewards for the capture of Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Jolo,” Amin said.

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