PNP Multi-Purpose Hall, Camp Crame, Quezon City
25 January 2016
President Benigno S. Aquino III posthumously conferred awards to the 44 slain Special Action Force (SAF) troopers in a ceremony held at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Police Chief Inspector Gednat Garambas Tabdi, who took the finger of Zulkifli bin Hir (alias “Marwan”) for identification, and PO2 Romeo Cumanoy Cempron, who used his own body to block the enemy’s bullets to save his fellow troopers, were both conferred the “Medalya ng Kagitingan” (PNP Medal of Valor) awards — the highest award of the PNP.
Meanwhile, the 42 other slain SAF troopers were posthumously awarded with the “Medalya ng Kabayanihan” (PNP Distinguished Conduct Medal).
Marking the first anniversary of the SAF’s “Oplan Exodus,” its anti-terrorist operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that resulted in a tragedy, President Aquino expressed dismay at the slow-paced justice for the SAF 44 and urged Congress to re-examine the PNP Law.
“Gaya ninyo, ako man po ay naiinip sa bagal ng pag-usad ng sistemang pangkatarungan sa ating bansa, Ika nga: Justice delayed is justice denied… Suriin ang PNP Law; tukuyin natin ang mga probisyong pumipigil sa agarang pagpapataw ng parusa sa mga pinunong nagkukulang sa kanilang tungkulin. Ayaw nating maulit ang mga trahedyang dulot lamang ng pagsuway sa patakaran,” he said.
The President also warned the PNP forces to be wary of individuals that use the Mamasapano tragedy as diversionary tactic towards destabilization and to gain personal advantage. He added that the government would continuously back the PNP in serving its people.
President Aquino also met with the families of the slain SAF 44 to ensure that all government aids, as earlier promised, had been delivered.
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