MANILA, Philippines – On the third anniversary of the Mamasapano tragedy, Malacañang called on the Philippine National Police to remember the 44 fallen Special Action Force personnel and embody their virtues.
"We call on all members of the police today to look back to the sacrifice of their fallen colleagues. Honor their memory by reliving their values of integrity and courage as you perform your duty to serve and protect the nation," said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
He read the message on Thursday, January 25, from New Delhi, India, where President Rodrigo Duterte was attending an international summit.
Duterte declared January 25 a national day of remembrance for the SAF 44, the 44 SAF police personnel killed during the botched operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.
The infamous incident was the biggest controversy to hit the administration of Benigno Aquino III.
Malacañang also asked Filipinos to spare a thought and prayer for the SAF personnel who perished.
"To our people, let us offer the most solemn prayer for our fallen SAF heroes. We also pray for their bereaved families that their grief may soon be appeased through the attainment of justice," said Roque.
He also said Duterte "vows to uncover the truth" behind the Mamasapano operation so that the families left behind may have closure.
Duterte previously promised to form a commission to probe the Mamasapano tragedy. No commission was formed. However, he later said a commission would be redundant as cases were already filed with the Office of the Ombudsman.
Aquino was charged for the first time at Sandiganbayan on November 2017. He was charged for one count each of graft and usurpation of official functions for allowing dismissed police chief Alan Purisima to participate in the Maguindanao operation. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.