By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

VALOR. Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. and PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil (center) visit the wake of Pat. Ian Valdez at the St. Peter Memorial Chapel, Barangay Divisoria, Zamboanga City on Thursday (May 30, 2024). Valdez was killed in a counter-terrorism operation in Tawi-Tawi that led to the death of ASG sub-leader Udon Hasim, while his two colleagues, Master Sergeants Mohammad Lee Aharul and Alberto Olbis, were wounded. (Photo courtesy of PNP)

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) honored a police officer who was killed and two others wounded in a counter-terrorism operation in Tawi-Tawi province earlier this week.

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. and PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil on Thursday personally awarded the Medalya ng Katapangan (PNP Bravery Medal) and the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting (PNP Wounded Personnel Medal) to Master Sergeants Mohammad Lee Aharul and Alberto Olbis at the Ciudad Medical de Zamboanga, the PNP Public Information Office (PIO) said in a news release Friday.

They also extended financial support to the wounded officers and their families, recognizing their sacrifices and dedication.

Following their visit to the hospital, Abalos and Marbil paid their final respects to the late Pat. Ian Valdez at the St. Peter Memorial Chapel, Barangay Divisoria, Zamboanga City.

Valdez was posthumously awarded the Medalya ng Katapangan for his sacrifice in the line of duty during the operation.

The officials expressed their deepest condolences to his bereaved family and provided them financial assistance during this difficult time.

“Their courage and dedication in the face of extreme danger serve as an inspiration to all members of the PNP,” Abalos said.

Marbil echoed the DILG chief’s remarks, reiterating the PNP’s commitment to honor and stand by the families of their fallen and wounded heroes.

Killed in the May 28 clash in Barangay Lahay-lahay, Tandulas, Tawi-Tawi was terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader Udon Hasim.

Hasim is wanted for four counts of frustrated murder and 17 counts of murder.

Investigation showed that the suspect was also engaged in illegal drug trade. (PNA)