Mamasapano hero honored with QC 'Bayani ng Bayan' award
Posted: 2022-Dec-20 10.28.57 UTC+0800
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MANILA – A hero of the 2015 Mamasapano clash received the first "Bayani ng Bayan" (Hero of the Nation) award given by the Quezon City People's Law Enforcement Board at the city hall on Monday
Lt. Col. Raymund Train was a ground commander during the clash in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province where 44 troopers of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) died in an encounter with members of local and international terrorist organizations.
Still, the operation on Jan. 25, 2015 called Oplan Exodus neutralized Zulkifli bin Hir (alias Marwan), a Malaysian international terrorist and bomb maker, in Barangay Tukanalipao.
One of the 16 survivors of the operation, Train said in previous interviews that a representative of the PNP-SAF turned over the index finger of "Marwan" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) three days after the encounter to confirm the identity of the terrorist leader.
The FBI based the testing on the DNA of the terrorist's brother who was arrested in California in 2007.
Train dedicated the award to his fallen comrades, collectively known as "SAF 44", and their families.
"With pride and gratitude, I accept this award, not just for myself, but also to give honor to my brothers in arms who painstakingly gave the ultimate sacrifice in exchange for lasting peace to the whole Filipino people," said Train.
Train spoke in public for the first time since the tragic encounter as the local government finally convinced him to come out.
"Pitong taon na ang nakaraan simula nung ako at ang aking mga kasama sa PNP-SAF ay nailagay sa tila isang entablado na umukit sa kasaysayan. Isang entablado kung saan naipakita at naipamalas ang isang huwarang katapangan at pag-alay ng sariling buhay para sa kapayapaan (It has been seven years since I and my comrades in the PNP-SAF were placed on what seemed to be a stage already carved in history, a stage where they showed the exemplary bravery and sacrifice of lives for the sake for peace)," Train said.
Their mission was accomplished but Train said he took the victory with a heavy heart as 44 gallant men paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"We should strive to be like Lt. Col. Train. Selfless service beyond the call of duty. I am one with the citizens of Quezon City in conferring this award to this most deserving QCitizen, Lt. Col. Train. This award is given so that his heroism will never be forgotten," Mayor Joy Belmonte said in her speech. (PNA)