Now on its 8th year

CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, PALO,Leyte-Eight years after the Mamasapano incident that shocked the nation, the families of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) killed are calling for justice.

Kristine Clemencio, the widow of PO1 Mark Lory Clemencio from Carigara town, Leyte, said that while they have received the promised benefits, mandatory and specially granted, have been released to them, justice remains to elude them.

“They say that since we have all received the benefits promised to us by the government, justice has been served to us,” the 38- college instructor said.

“But the justice that we are seeking is for those responsible to be put behind in bars,” Clemencio added.

She asked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for them to achieve the justice that they have been seeking for years now.

“We hope the President will support us and will not leave us as we continue to seek justice for our loved ones,” Clemencio said.

On Wednesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Eastern Visayas honored the gallantry and bravery of the fallen SAF 44 of which six of them were from the region.
In a program marking the eighth year anniversary of the tragedy held at the regional PNP headquarters in Palo, Leyte, Lt.Gen. Michael John Dubria, chief of the directorial staff of PNP national headquarters, paid tributes to the fallen SAF 44.

Dubria said that the heroism and bravery displayed by the fallen SAF 44 should not be forgotten.

“The heroism of SAF 44 will forever be etched of our country’s history that will never be forgotten like the generation of warrior heroes before them. Our fallen SAF 44 gave everything they have,” he said.

“The least that we can do is not to remember them and their ultimate sacrifices,” Dubria said.

In the region, aside from Clemencio, those who died on that fateful day of Jan.25, 2015 were PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla; PO2 Noel Balaca; PO2 Glenn Berecio Bedua; PO2 Rodel Eva Ramacula; and PO1 Joseph Sagonoy.

The 44 members of the elite force of the PNP were massacred in Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao while they were in an operation to arrest Malaysian terrorist and bomb-maker Zulkifli Abdhir and his companions who were high-ranking officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (JOEY A. GABIETA)