Abu Sayyaf killers among top AFP awardees
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - December 21, 2012 - 3:24pm

MANILA, Philippines - An air force pilot who dropped the bomb that killed Abu Sayyaf commander Gumbahali Jumdail alias Doc Abu and an Army corporal who single-handedly killed six Abu Sayyaf bandits in an encounter are among the top awardees in the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) 77th founding anniversary celebration at Camp Aguinaldo on Friday.

Philippine Air Force (PAF) 1st Lt. Carlo Valdez received his Gold Cross Medal from President Aquino along with Marine 2nd Lt. Ferdinand Divina, who bagged the Distinguished Conduct Star for leading the charge that killed Albader Parad, an equally notorious Abu Sayyaf commander in Sulu.

Also this year’s AFP Gold Cross Medal awardee was Army Corporal Christopher Cabrito for his gallantry in action that left six Abu Sayyaf members dead and the recovery of high-powered firearms, vehicles and documents with high intelligence value during anti-terror operations at Sitio Buug, Barangay Macalang in Al Barka town in Basilan.

On February 2 this year, Valdez piloted one of the two OV-10 Bronco bombers that were dispatched on a special mission against the Abu Sayyaf group headed by Dr. Abu and Jemaah Islamiyah bombers Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, a Malaysian and Muhamda Ali alias Muawiya, a Singaporean of Indian heritage in Sulu.

Flying above his objective, Valdez precisely unleashed his loads on the Abu Sayyaf lair at Sitio Lanao Bato, Barangay Lanao Dakula in Parang town at about 2 a.m.

The powerful explosion killed not only Dr. Abu, but also his son Teng another relative named HJ Tati.

Initial reports claimed that Marwan and Muawiya were also killed in the explosion. However, ground sources in Sulu would say later that the two Asian terrorists survived the bombing operations as they were staying outside of the impact area.

Divina, on the other hand, headed the Marine Special Operations Platoon that assaulted the Abu Sayyaf lair in Barangay Karawan, Maimbung, also in Sulu last February 2, 2010 that resulted in Parad’s death. One marine soldier was killed in the fighting.

An equally notorious Abu Sayyaf commander, Parad who has a $5 million bounty on his head, was tagged as the brains behind the series of high-profile kidnappings in and outside of Sulu, including that of the abduction of three International Red Cross workers in the troubled island province.

“For acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry in the face of forty heavily armed Abu Sayyaf, resulting to six enemy fatalities to include their fallen leader Abdul Parad, the Distinguished Conduct Star is Awarded to 2Lt. Ferdinand Divina, (Marines),” the AFP's citation for Divina reads.

ABDUL PARAD ABU ABU SAYYAF AL BARKA ALBADER PARAD ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ARMY CORPORAL CHRISTOPHER CABRITO DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT STAR FERDINAND DIVINA GOLD CROSS MEDAL SAYYAF
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