According to a press release on Friday, March 6, the SAF troopers went against 700 “lawless elements/Souther Philippine terrorists” during the January 25 operation.
Seventy-three SAF troopers – members of the 84th Seaborne and the 55th Special Action Companies – were in pursuit of bomb makers and terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Abdul Basic Usman in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano.
The SAF were able to kill Marwan, but soon after they found themselves in an encounter against fighters from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and some private armed groups (PAGs).
According to Republic Act 6975, any uniformed PNP personnel “who has exhibited acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry at the risk of his/her life above and beyond the call of duty shall be promoted to the next higher rank, provided, that such acts shall be validated by the Commission based on established criteria.”
“Although outnumbered by a superior enemy force, they held their ground, fought up to their last breath, and accomplished their mission,” the Napolcom said.
Aside from the slain cops' promotion, the legal spouses of 28 of the 44 will be receiving gratuities equivalent to one year’s worth of their husbands’ salaries, burial expenses worth 3 months’ salary, and monthly pensions for 5 years worth 80% of their husband’s monthly pay.
Legitimate children of the slain 44 are entitled to the same benefits.
Parents and illegitimate children of the slain troopers, meanwhile, will get one year’s worth of the slain troopers’ basic salary and burial expenses. According to the Napolcom, 12 of the SAF personnel where unmarried when they died while 3 had illegitimate children. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com