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Aquino vows justice over SAF 44 killings

27 January 2016 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post
President Benigno S. Aquino III holds a private talk with relatives of slain SAF troopers at the Mamasapano Massacre immediately after the program at Camp Crame for the commemoration of Mamasapano Massacre Monday (January 25). The President earlier presented the PNP Medalya ng Kabayanihan to relatives of the  44 SAF troopers who were slain in the massacre. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III holds a private talk with relatives of slain SAF troopers at the Mamasapano Massacre immediately after the program at Camp Crame for the commemoration of Mamasapano Massacre Monday (January 25). The President earlier presented the PNP Medalya ng Kabayanihan to relatives of the 44 SAF troopers who were slain in the massacre. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Monday personally vowed justice for the deaths of the 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) who died exactly a year ago during the bloody Mamasapano encounter.

“Ako man po ay naiinip sa pag-usad (ng kaso). Justice delayed is justice denied… Makakaasa kayo, puspusan ang ating pagsisikap para makamit ang hustisya,” Aquino said.

Aquino made the commitment during the awarding of the Medal of Valor to two SAF members.

President Benigno S. Aquino III  confers the Medal of Valor to SAF Inspector Gednat Tabdi, one of the slain soldier in the Mamasapano Massacre, received by his wife Leah at the Camp Crame Monday (January 25). Tabdi was the team leader of Team 1 of the Main Effort 1 and 84th Special Action Company that carried out Oplan Exodus. He also served as the navigator and point man of the troops. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III confers the Medal of Valor to SAF Inspector Gednat Tabdi, one of the slain soldier in the Mamasapano Massacre, received by his wife Leah at the Camp Crame Monday (January 25). Tabdi was the team leader of Team 1 of the Main Effort 1 and 84th Special Action Company that carried out Oplan Exodus. He also served as the navigator and point man of the troops. (MNS photo)

The Medal of Valor was given to the families of Senior Inspector Gednat Tabdi and Police Officer 2 Romeo Cempron, two of the so-called SAF 44, who died in the Mamasapano clash.

The Medal of Valor is considered as the highest distinction given to uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Tabdi was the leader of Team 1 of the 84th Special Action Company. Even when he was already wounded, Tabdi still led his team to accomplish its mission.

President Benigno S. Aquino III  confers the Medal of Valor to SAF Inspector Gednat Tabdi, one of the slain soldier in the Mamasapano Massacre, received by his wife Leah at the Camp Crame Monday (January 25). Tabdi was the team leader of Team 1 of the Main Effort 1 and 84th Special Action Company that carried out Oplan Exodus. He also served as the navigator and point man of the troops. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III confers the Medal of Valor to SAF Inspector Gednat Tabdi, one of the slain soldier in the Mamasapano Massacre, received by his wife Leah at the Camp Crame Monday (January 25). Tabdi was the team leader of Team 1 of the Main Effort 1 and 84th Special Action Company that carried out Oplan Exodus. He also served as the navigator and point man of the troops. (MNS photo)

Cempron, on the other hand, was the lead gunner of the main effort of the 55th Special Action Company. When his fellow commandos were already dying, he sacrificed himself as a human shield in order for survivor PO2 Christopher Lalan to move to safety.

The conferment of awards coincides with the first-year anniversary of the January 25 Mamasapano encounter, which led to the deaths of 44 SAF members.

President Benigno S. Aquino III is the guest of honor at Camp Crame for the commemoration of Mamasapano Massacre Monday (January 25). The President will present the PNP Medalya ng Kabayanihan to relatives of the  44 SAF troopers who were slain in the massacre. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III is the guest of honor at Camp Crame for the commemoration of Mamasapano Massacre Monday (January 25). The President will present the PNP Medalya ng Kabayanihan to relatives of the 44 SAF troopers who were slain in the massacre. (MNS photo)

“Walang salitang makakatumbas para mailarawan ang kanilang kagitingan… Maraming salamat sa kahandaan ninyong unahin ang kapakanan ng bayan bago ang sarili,” Aquino said.

The police operation was meant to neutralize Indonesian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bomb expert Abdul Basit Usman. The SAF members were ambushed by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its splinter group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

President Benigno S. Aquino III troops the line upon his arrival at Camp Crame for the commemoration of  the Mamasapano Massacre Monday (January 25). The President will present the PNP Medalya ng Kabayanihan to relatives of the  44 SAF troopers who were slain in the massacre. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III troops the line upon his arrival at Camp Crame for the commemoration of the Mamasapano Massacre Monday (January 25). The President will present the PNP Medalya ng Kabayanihan to relatives of the 44 SAF troopers who were slain in the massacre. (MNS photo)

The 42 other police commandos who died in the encounter, and five other SAF personnel who survived received the Medalya ng Kabayanihan or the PNP Distinguished Conduct Medal, the second highest medal to PNP personnel.

Also present in the awarding ceremony held at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon Ciy were former President Fidel Ramos, Interior Sec. Mel Senen Sarmiento, and PNP chief Ricardo Marquez. (MNS)

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