Press Release
February 8, 2015

Cayetano: Reward for Marwan's head should go to SAF men, Fallen 44 families in Mamasapano operations

The $5-million bounty placed by the US government on the head of Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, should be awarded to all the PNP-SAF operatives responsible for his death, especially to the families of the Fallen 44 heroes who were killed in an encounter with the MILF and the BIFF last January 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Sen. Alan Peter S. Cayetano said the US government should recognize that each and every one of the SAF policemen involved in the said operation sacrificed their lives and limbs to prevent one of the world's most wanted terrorist from taking another human life, even at the expense of their own.

"Kung na-confirm talaga na si Marwan 'yun, I am of the belief na dapat yung mga kasama sa operation na ito, ang mga pamilya nung mga namatay na 44 heroes natin at yung mga wounded, sila ang makakuha ng reward," the senator said in an interview with reporters after his visit to the wounded SAF men at the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Thursday.

He said that on several occasions that he talked with the families of the slain SAF men and those wounded, they never mentioned anything about the reward, nor did they convey a sense of entitlement to it, which makes a compelling case to give them the $5-million bounty.

"Makikita mo na tunay 'yung sinabi ng mga pamilya at ng mga wounded, na hindi yun yung kanilang konsiderasyon. Bakit? Ang dami ko nang nakausap sa kanila, ni isa walang nagbanggit ng reward," Cayetano bared.

"In fact, once lang nabanggit yung reward, yung magulang pa na umiiyak, na sinasabing, 'Sir, kahit pera, kahit reward, ayaw namin 'yan. Hustisya ang hanap namin.' But having said that, it is only right and just that they do get the reward."

The senator was the first to withdraw his co-authorship of the Bangsamoro Basic Law upon learning of the incident that resulted in the gruesome death of the 44 SAF operatives and wounding of several other members of the elite unit of the police force.

He earlier said the MILF only wants power in Mindanao and not peace, and that the government should suspend the peace process.

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