President Rodrigo Duterte wants to give the PNP's Medal of Valor to all 44 Special Action Force commandos who were killed in the ill-fated Mamasapano operation two years ago.
In a speech before loved ones of the fallen police officers in Malacañang, Duterte ordered Interior Undersecretary Catalino Cuy and PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa to look into the records.
“The highest honor that I can give really, ako ba personal, the highest is to award them the Medal of Valor,” Duterte said.
“Look into it. I’m directing you now. Give me the result probably at the end of the month. Tutal nandiyan naman iyong records. Hindi naman kailangan mag-imbestiga… If you think as a soldier that the 44 deserved the Valor, then recommend it and I will give all of the soldiers, the 44,” he said.
Duterte made the remarks on the eve of the second anniversary of the Mamasapano incident and after a dialog with the families of the late police officers.
“So they are asking, bakit dalawa lang ang [Medal of ] Valor? Eh lahat naman sila namatay, Nagpaputok rin. Of course, they have the enemy crosshair. They directed the direction of their arms in the line of fire," Duterte said.
"So, I’m asking Dela Rosa, to these new guys, Lito, study the matter very carefully. And look, if it’s sauce for the gander, it’s sauce for the goose,” he added.
According to Republic Act No. 9049, Medal of Valor awardees or their dependents are entitled to receive P20,000 monthly, apart from their salary or pension.
Duterte also promised the families that he would set “a day of remembrance” for the troopers.
“I will set a day. It will be known as ‘A Day of Remembrance’ for the SAF44,” Duterte said to applause.
“Maraming memorial dito. Memorial Circle. Memorial na punerarya. Marami na. Memorial na cemetery. Ibahin naman natin. A Day of Remembrance. O diba?” he added.
The President also announced that he will set up a commission to find the truth about the Mamasapano clash.
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