The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) honored on Friday the soldiers who were deployed to Haiti as peacekeepers for a year.
The 135 peacekeepers also received United Nation Service Medals for their stint in conflict- and earthquake-torn Caribbean nation during the ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
In his speech, AFP chief General Ricardo Visaya noted the "critical responsibilities" his men had to carry out in a "foreign land, thousand miles away from home and your loved ones."
"As your eyes have been opened with the problems occurring outside the territory we are primarily tasked to protect, I am certain that you have gained the motivation to serve more because you now have more to offer to our country and to the Filipino people," he said.
The contingent provided administrative and security operations through clinical services, transport services, VIP security, and perimeter defense.
These peacekeepers are members of the 19th Philippine Contingent of AFP, which returned to the Philippines on July 11.
They were replaced by the all-Army contingent that left the country on July 8. —Virgil Lopez/KBK, GMA News