MANILA, Philippines — Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday expressed his opinion that the families of the Fallen 44 should be invited to the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano operation, as they may be able to help provide some insight into “the brave last moments” of the slain commandos.
Recto explained that many of the Special Action Force (SAF) police were communicating with their loved ones until moments before the commandos were gunned down in a heavy battle which lasted nearly 12 hours.
“Although there was no audio recording of the fight, the nearest that we have to a ‘black box’ are the text messages of these brave men and their conversation with their relatives,” Recto said.
“Yung iba doon humihingi pa ng cellphone load sa kanilang mga kamag-anak. Meron pang isang SAF, perhaps sensing the desperateness of the situation, sinamahan ng kanyang nanay sa pagro-Rosaryo,” the senator said in a statement.
(Some of them [Fallen 44] were even asking for cellphone load from relatives. There was even an SAF member, perhaps sensing the desperateness of the situation, who was joined by his mother in praying the Rosary)
“There were many who were pleading with their friends, relatives to convey to their higher ups their need to be reinforced and extracted, which unfortunately did not happen,” he said.
“May ibang kamag-anak na nagsasabi na 2 or 3 p.m nakakatanggap pa sila ng text, contrary to reports that the firefight ended noon of January 26,” he added.
(There were relatives who said that they received texts at 2 or 3 p.m.)
These accounts were made know to Recto when he went to Camp Bagong Diwa on Thursday to pay his respects at the wake for the 44 SAF men.
“You want to piece together the picture on the ground at that time? Then we can get it from the persons they last talked to. It may not be the whole picture, some may just provide snapshots, but it will help investigators draw the scenario at that time,” Recto theorized.
“What were our heroes last words? Sa text messages natin malalaman o sa kuwento ng kanilang mahal sa buhay,” he said.
(It is through their text messages that we will know, or from the stories their loved ones can tell us.)
“We need honest words, unblemished by political bias, that can take place only between the closest of kin,” the senator added.