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January 27, 2016

Remembered, Not Forgotten: The SAF 44

As we mark the first death anniversary of the 44 fallen Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) commandos or the SAF 44, we remember that many questions are still left unanswered.

Rey Langit, Fallen 44, SAF coffins, January 31 2015

Was the chain of command violated in the fateful encounter at Mamasapano, Maguindanao following Oplan Exodus: the extermination of the terrorist Marwan who was allegedly staying in an MILF location?

Was then-suspended PNP chief Purisma allowed by President Aquino to give orders despite not being allowed to conduct official business due to his suspension? Or did then-SAF commander Napeñas act on his own and put the lives of his men in danger?

While the Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to release the results of its official investigation into the matter, the Senate, a new hearing is scheduled today. Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile claims he has new evidence that will prove that the SAF 44 were indeed walked into the massacre due to the negligence of top honchos in command.




Meanwhile, around the country, various ceremonies were held to honor the sacrifice of these 44 brave commandos. In the various hometowns of these brave men, candles were lighted in their memory. President Aquino himself awarded the Medal of Valor and the Medal of Distinguished Conduct to the families of slain commandos.

Filipinos took to social media to express their opinions regarding the lack of justice for the SAF 44 and Senator Enrile’s reopening of the trial.

Some questioned Senator Enrile’s motives…




Majority, however, criticized the Aquino administration for failing to find justice for the Fallen 44.











ABS-CBN columnist and former Philippine Graphic editor-in-chief Inday Espina-Varona sums it up for those who demand justice with a message to the President:

Stop your lies. You lied, Mr. President. You deliberately created a shadow chain of command. You betrayed this nation, Mr. President. Tama na, sobra na.

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