Probing SAF massacre under new commission

>> Monday, January 30, 2017


President Duterte has bared his plan to create an independent commission that would conduct further investigation on the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members in January 2015 in Mamasapano and to declare January 25 as a national memorial day to honor the memory of the heroes.
These are welcome developments which could be a start to determine liability of former top government officials under the Aquino administration in the gruesome murders.  
President Duterte on Tuesday conducted a dialogue with families of the slain commandos, a day before the second-year anniversary of the gruesome encounter in Mindanao.
Two years have passed since the bloodbath, but up to now, justice continues to be elusive, and those responsible for the blotched operation have not been held accountable.
The previous administration had also been criticized for failing to provide assistance that was promised to the victims’ families.
In Ilocos Norte last week the provincial government called for justice on death of PO3 Omar Nacionales and other 43 SAF commandos in a simple and solemn tribute.
Starting with a flag raising ceremony and a short prayer, hundreds of provincial police officers, local officials, government employees, and bereaved family of PO3 Nacionales attended the simple commemoration.
Gov. Imee R. Marcos conveyed her condolences through Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc saying, “We are one with President Duterte’s call that justice must be found and reinvestigation must be made and there must be sense of accountability and responsibility.”
Marcos urged Ilocanos to be inspired by the heroism of the fallen 44 as they laid down their lives to keep the country safe and secure.
The mother of PO3 Nacionales, Florencia, is still emotional with their loss but confident that: “Alam ko at umaasa akong muling mabubuksan ang kaso at mapapanagot ang mga may sala.” 
Forty-four flags stood in front of the provincial capitol as a symbol of their greatness and bravery that they bestowed to the country.
Marcos told the bereaved family the provincial government will continue to extend assistance to them in gratitude for Nacionales’ bravery and heroism.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga kami kay Governor Imee at sa provincial government sa walang sawang pagbibigay ng tulong sa amin. Lalong lalo na sa pag-papaaral sa naiwang kapatid ni Omar,” PO3 Nacionales’ mother said.
The sister of PO3 Nacionales, a third-year BS Business Administration student, will be continuously accommodated for her to land a job after graduating. “I think this will be a continuous process of helping them, ensuring at least some compensation to offset their loss,” Manotoc said. 
The Duterte administration is now being watched if it would be able to seek justice for the slain policemen and to deliver the much-needed help that their families deserve.


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