42 slain SAF cops get PNP Medal of Valor

The Philippine Star - - METRO - – Christina Men­dez

Mak­ing good on his prom­ise, Pres­i­dent Duterte awarded yes­ter­day the Medalya ng Kag­itin­gan, the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) ver­sion of the mil­i­tary’s Medal of Valor, to the 42 Spe­cial Ac­tion Force (SAF) po­lice­men killed in ac­tion dur­ing a raid in Ma­mas­apano, Maguin­danao in 2015.

Duterte, as com­man­derin-chief, led the award­ing cer­e­mony of the PNP Medal of Valor at the He­roes’ Hall in Mala­cañang.

“You know it comes late, but bet­ter late than never. I am not at­tribut­ing any­thing to any­body but I am happy that we are able to rec­og­nize to­day the brav­ery of our po­lice of­fi­cers,” he said.

He paid trib­ute to the SAF com­man­dos in­volves in im­ple­ment­ing Oplan Exodus, which neu­tral­ized ter­ror­ists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Mar­wan, and Ba­sit Us­man.

“Their tragic death in the hands of en­e­mies, who out­num­bered them and sur­rounded them from all sides, may be one of the dark­est and sad­dest parts of our na­tion’s his­tory,” Duterte said.

The 44 SAF po­lice­men were pre­vi­ously posthu­mously pro­moted.

The PNP Medal of Valor is the high­est award of the PNP, given to a po­lice of­fi­cer who ex­e­cuted a deed of per­sonal brav­ery and self­sac­ri­fice above and be­yond the call of duty.

The fam­i­lies of the slain SAF com­man­dos were also given Ma­ga­long Medals, the high­est among the medals un­der the Or­der of La­puLapu, for ex­tra­or­di­nary ser­vice or ex­cep­tional con­tri­bu­tions to the suc­cess of an ac­tiv­ity pur­suant to a cam­paign or ad­vo­cacy of the Pres­i­dent.

Out of the 44 slain SAF troop­ers, then pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III – who has been charged along with then PNP chief Alan Purisima for the Ma­mas­apano raid – awarded the PNP Medal ng Kag­itin­gan only to Chief In­spec­tor Ged­nat Tabdi and Po­lice Of­fi­cer 3 Romeo Cem­pron.

Among who re­ceived the Medalya ng Kag­itin­gan from Duterte were Chief In­spec­tors Ryan Pa­bali­nas, John Gary Erana, Max Jim Tria and Cyrus An­ni­ban; Se­nior In­spec­tors Joey Sacristan Ga­mu­tan and Ren­nie Tayrus; and Se­nior Po­lice Of­fi­cer 2 Lover Ino­cen­cio.

The oth­ers were Se­nior Po­lice Of­fi­cers 1 Ro­drigo Acob Jr., Virgel Villanueva, An­dres Duque Jr.,Vi­to­ri­ano Acain, Noel Golo­can, Jun­rel Ki­bete, Jed-In As­jali, Robert Aliaga and John Lloyd Sum­billa.

Po­lice Of­fi­cers 3 Am­man Es­mulla, Peter­son Carap, Roger Cordero, Nicky Na­cino Jr., Glenn Badua, Chum Agabon, Richelle Baluga, Noel Balaca, Joel Dul­nuan, God­ofredo Ca­ban­let, Franklin Danao; Wal­ner Danao, Jerry Kayob, No­ble Kian­gan, Ephraim Me­jia, Omar Na­cionales, Rodel Ra­mac­ula and Romeo Valles Senin II also re­ceived the award.

The other re­cip­i­ents are Po­lice Of­fi­cers 2 Rus­sel Bilog, An­gel Ko­dia­mat, Win­dell Can­dano, Loreto Capinding, Gringo Cayango, Mark Lory Cle­men­cio, Joseph Sagonoy and Oliebeth Viernes.

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