World

Philippines mourn 44 slain police commandos as president orders hunt for terror suspect

  • Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, wearing a black arm band, leaves the podium shortly after offering prayers for the police commandos killed last Sunday, during the Philippine's biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Aquino said Friday that he has ordered a hunt for the Filipino terror suspect who escaped the anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the killings of the 44 commandos. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, wearing a black arm band, leaves the podium shortly after offering prayers for the police commandos killed last Sunday, during the Philippine's biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Aquino said Friday that he has ordered a hunt for the Filipino terror suspect who escaped the anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the killings of the 44 commandos. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Christine Kiangan, widow of Noble Kiangan, one of the 44 members of the elite police commandos killed last Sunday during the Philippines' biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, reaches out to her son as he touches a commando's flag-draped coffin at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.  On Friday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III promised grieving relatives of the slain commandos that government forces will capture suspected bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Christine Kiangan, widow of Noble Kiangan, one of the 44 members of the elite police commandos killed last Sunday during the Philippines' biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, reaches out to her son as he touches a commando's flag-draped coffin at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. On Friday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III promised grieving relatives of the slain commandos that government forces will capture suspected bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives of the 44 elite police commandos killed last Sunday during the Philippines' biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, mourn at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. On Friday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III promised grieving relatives of the slain commandos that government forces will capture suspected bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Relatives of the 44 elite police commandos killed last Sunday during the Philippines' biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, mourn at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. On Friday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III promised grieving relatives of the slain commandos that government forces will capture suspected bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippine president says he has ordered the hunt for a Filipino terror suspect who escaped an anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the killings of 44 police commandos.

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday promised grieving relatives of the slain commandos that government forces will capture suspected bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman. He says that Malaysian Zulkifli Bin Hir, one of Southeast Asia's top terror suspects, apparently was killed during the Jan. 25 operation.

Officials say a DNA test is still needed to confirm Zulkifli's identity.

The killings of the commandos in a clash with Muslim rebels is testing the government's peace deal with the insurgents, but Aquino and rebel leaders have committed to defend the agreement signed last year.