Honors for PNP-SAF, gov't-MILF deal, Saudi cabinet shake-up | The wRap

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HONORS FOR #SAF44 ON NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING
The Philippines observes a national day of mourning in honor of 44 Special Action Force policemen killed in Maguindanao Sunday. Family, friends, and comrades of the slain policemen flock to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for the necrological rites led by President Benigno Aquino. Aquino faced criticism for not being around when the caskets were flown in from Maguindanao Thursday. I filed this video blog earlier today during the rites.

Somber and silent. This is the mood at the necrological service for 41 of the 44 fallen Special Action Forces troopers killed in a bloody clash with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front -- this despite the fact they died as heroes. President Benigno Aquino III arrives to lead the service and views the remains of each and every one of the dead, who were killed while pursuing top terrorists. He gives the families medals and salutes them.
The dead were fathers, sons, husbands. But the cry of families are one: justice.

ERICA PABALINAS, WIDOW: Slowly, I accept that my husband can’t be with us anymore. I’m consoling myself that he died a hero. It is painful, though. All I ask right now is justice. Not only for my husband who was brutally killed, but all of those who fought and fell. Behind every brave SAF trooper is a strong wife. To our President, we seek for your help to attain justice. Mr. President please help us!

Aquino says he understands how they feel having lost his father former Sen Benigno Aquino Jr who fought for democracy. He vows justice will be served.

BENIGNO AQUINO, PRESIDENT: Ang gusto natin, hindi na mauulit ang pangyayaring tulad nito. Bilang pangulo, gustuhin ko man pong magalit, ay hindi ako pwede magpadala sa emosyon. Sisikapin po nating makamit ang katarungan para sa mga pinaslang at sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. Makakaasa rin po kayo na pipilitin nating mabawasan ang inyong mga agam-agam para sa kinabukasan. (This is a tragedy we do not want repeated. As the President, though I may want to express my anger, I cannot let my emotions get the best of me. We will strive for justice for the fallen SAF and for their loved ones. We will do our best to bring you peace of mind.)

The room is quiet when he finishes talking. No one applauds.
Asked if they believe the President, bereaved loved ones are not as optimistic.

RACHEL SUMBILLA, WIDOW: Sa dami ng problema ng government, hindi ko lang alam kung ipaprioritize ito. (With the countless problems of the government I don’t know if they will prioritize this.)

It's a promise the government must fulfill as it pushes forward with a peace deal with the MILF.

NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: Following the deadly clashes, families of the fallen as well as lawmakers express doubt on whether peace with Moro rebels is a possibility. The government must now work harder with the MILF, to convince the nation that lasting peace can be achieved, and that the death of the 44, is not for naught.

Special Action Force Chief Noli Taliño delivers a eulogy for his fallen men.
He asks if their deaths were worth it.

VOICE OF NOLI TALIÑO, SPECIAL ACTION FORCE CHIEF: Is it worth it? One international terrrorist equivalent to 44 SAF troopers. I’m sure if you will ask them, it is worth it? Dahil mas maraming buhay ang maisasalba at maililigtas nung nawala si Marwan. We live by our motto ‘Tagaligtas’. (More lives would be saved if Marwan is neutralized. We live by our motto ‘Rescuer.’)

Vice President Jejomar Binay urges police chief Alan Purisima to speak up on the issue. Reports say Purisima played a part in the operation despite being on preventive suspension.

GOV'T, MILF SIGN PROTOCOL FOR ARMS DECOMMISSIONING
On the eve of the National Day of Mourning the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF signs a protocol for the decommissioning of rebel firearms in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The clash between the elite cops and MILF troops put at risk the passage of a proposed law seeking to create a new autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao. In a joint statement both parties reaffirm their commitment to "peace that has long eluded Mindanao.” The protocol provides details on how storage areas for decommissioned rebel firearms would be secured but did not reveal where those sites would be.

CHRISTIAN LIM CHOSEN AS ACTING COMELEC CHIEF
The Commission on Elections or Comelec names commissioner Christian Robert Lim as acting chairman of the poll body. Lim will be the poll chief until the appointment of a permanent chairman… when Congress goes on break on March 21. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. will retire Monday, February 2, with commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph.

NEW SAUDI KING BRINGS MAJOR GOVERNMENT SHAKE-UP
Saudi Arabia's King Salman announces a major government reshuffle a week after he inherits the crown. King Salman replaces the chief of intelligence, head of national security council and fires two sons of the late monarch Abdullah. Top officials including oil, foreign, and finance ministers kept their posts in the cabinet of the world's leading oil exporter. The new 79-year old monarch, who was a half brother of the late Abdullah, also named a 31-member cabinet.

YOUTUBE NOW USES HTML5 BY DEFAULT ON THE WEB
Online browser users can now see videos on Youtube with less buffering. YouTube switches from Flash to HTML5 as the default player on Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8, and Firefox betas. It also gets rid of the flash embed style, encouraging users who embed videos to use iframe which easily works with any browser and device.

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– Rappler.com

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Production Staff