Press Release
March 8, 2015

Nancy welcomes posthumous promotion of SAF 44
...appeals that wounded SAF, survivors also be recognized

Sen. Nancy Binay today welcomed the gesture of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) to confer posthumous meritorious promotion to the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25.

Binay said that she is elated that the Napolcom finally recognized the heroism of the police commandos who were killed in a firefight with separatist rebels in Maguindanao but appealed to the Commission that it should also accord the same recognition to injured SAF members and those who survived the carnage and were also part of the operation on terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan.

"I'm very happy that the PNP leadership has given posthumous promotion for the Fallen 44. Pero sana huwag nating kalilimutan ang kabayanihan din ng kanilang mga kasamahang buhay na bahagi din ng matagumpay na operasyon--their heroism likewise deserve to be recognized," the senator added.

Binay noted that many of the SAF troopers sent to Mamasapano on January 25 were also part of the operations during the Zamboanga siege in 2013. They were promised a career advancement after the Zamboanga attack but no promotion came.

"Sana po hindi na mapapako ang mga pangako para sa ating mga magigiting na pulis at tagaligtas. Yung mga naiwang sugatan at nabuhay, let's recognize their efforts. Bayani din po sila ng bayan. Hindi po ba mission accomplished naman sila sa pagkakapatay kay Marwan? Sana naman po ay ipakita natin sa mga SAF commandos natin na pinapahalagahan natin ang kanilang ginagawa para sa ating bayan," the senator said.

Binay said the PNP promotion system should be perceptive to the heroism displayed by its men who go beyond the call of duty.

Under Section 38 (b) of Republic Act 6975, as amended by Section 33 (b) of RA 8551, any uniformed member of the PNP who has exhibited acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry at the risk of his/her life above and beyond the call of duty shall be promoted to the next higher rank, provided that such acts shall be validated by the Commission based on established criteria.

Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 73 and 76 of RA 6975 or the PNP Law, members of the PNP and their beneficiaries are expressly granted certain welfare benefits under the provisions of RA 6963 entitled "An Act Granting Special Financial Assistance And Benefits to the Family or Beneficiary of any Police or Military Personnel or Fireman Killed or Permanently Incapacitated while in the Performance of his Duty or By Reason of His Office or Position and for Other Purposes."

"Papaano naman po yung mga SAF commandos nating nandoon na mismo at nakipaglaban upang makalabas nang buhay?" Binay asked.

"Marwan was killed during that operation. They deserve more than a mere pat in the back for what they have achieved. They deserve a promotion or even a letter of commendation at the very least," the senator further said.

Last week, the the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) awarded Gold Cross and Bronze Cross medals to several soldiers who were sent to Mamasapano.

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