Colleagues remember fallen SAF members

By: Ador Vincent Mayol January 24,2018 - 04:50 PM

 

A Mass will be celebrated at the chapel of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 25, to commemorate the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who were killed during a clash with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, 2015.

Supt. Reyman Tolentin, spokesperson of PRO-7, said they expressed hopes that justice will finally be secured by the family of the slain soldiers.

“We remember our comrades who died in line of duty. I hope their sacrifice will not be in vain,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Two Cebuanos—PO2 Windel Candano, and PO1 Romeo Cempron—were among the 44 SAF troopers who died during a botched police operation that targeted terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir and Abdul Basit Usman.

Most of the families of the SAF 44 received educational aids and livelihood assistance.

But they asked President Rodrigo Duterte to make good of his promise to grant a Medal of Valor to all 44 members of the elite police force, and to increase their monthly pension.

A Medal of Valor would mean a full scholarship for her son from grade school to college.

Tolentin said it is but proper to honor the SAF 44 who offered their lives for the country.

“We salute them. We feel their death although that is part of our work. We just hope that justice will be served,” he said.

In November 2017, the Office of the Ombudsman filed graft and usurpation of authority charges against former President Benigno Aquino III before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the 2015 Mamasapano incident.

The anti-graft office said Aquino allegedly conspired with former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima, who was then under preventive suspension, and PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) chief Getulio Napeñas in implementing Oplan Exodus that led to the deaths of 44 police commandos, dubbed as the SAF 44.

It said Aquino “allowed himself to be persuaded, induced, or influence” to violate the PNP chain of command and the Ombudsman’s preventive suspension order against Purisima.

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