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Mass marks SAF 44 3rd death anniversary

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol January 24,2018 - 10:14 PM

THREE years after the botched police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25,2015, which killed 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF), the families of the slain government troopers continue to hope that justice will finally be served.

A Mass will be celebrated at the chapel of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) at 8:30 a.m. today to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of their death in the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

“We remember our comrades who died in line of duty. I hope their sacrifice will not be in vain,” Supt. Reyman Tolentin, spokesperson of PRO-7 said on Wednesday.

Two Cebuanos — PO2 Windel Candano, and PO1 Romeo Cempron — were among those killed during the bungled police operation which targeted terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir and Abdul Basit Usman.

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.

Dubbed as SAF 44, their families have received educational aid and livelihood assistance from government.

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

A Medal of Valor would mean a full scholarship, from grade school to college, for the children of the 44 policemen.

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 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 influenced” to violate the PNP chain of command and the Ombudsman’s preventive suspension order against Purisima.

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TAGS: 3rd, 44, anniversary, death, marks, Mass, SAF

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