Recto wants Medal of Valor for SAF 44

SENATOR Ralph Recto on Friday sought Medals of Valor for the 44 police commandos killed in a firefight with Moro rebels and demanded that the MILF retract its statement that the Muslim terrorist Marwan was killed by his aide and not by the commandos.

“What’s the best prologue to President Aquino’s unequivocal declaration that it was the SAF group that killed Marwan?” Recto said.

“First, for the government to expedite the evaluation of the recommendation that some, if not all, of the Fallen 44, plus some of their surviving comrades, be conferred the PNP Medal of Honor and other commendations.”

Recto made his statement even as the camp of former Special Action Force director Getulio Napeñas said it was time to name those responsible for issuing the order to the military not to help the commandos involved in the oplan Exodus that resulted in the death of the 44 on Jan. 25.

Vetaliano Aguirre, Napeñas’ lawyer, said the investigation must be pursued despite Aquino’s statement recognizing the commandos’ as Marwan’s killer.

“There should be an investigation as to who gave the stand-down order that forced the military not to respond while the SAF personnel were pleading for military reinforcement,” Aguirre said.

In Malacañang, an official said the Palace could now resume pushing for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law now that Aquino had dismissed his own declaration of an “alternative version” to the story on the 44 commandos, and in which the MILF and not the commandos had killed Marwan.

“For us, we will continue to push for the BBL,”  deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told reporters.

Recto said the awarding ceremonies could be set and the debt of gratitude the Filipinos owed the 44 could finally be paid.

He said the awarding of the medals would also help heal the pain of their loved ones as they would be comforted by the recognition that they died as heroes.

He expressed hope the awards could be given before the nation remembers its dead in November.


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