The House of Representatives through its lawmakers, Secretariat officials and employees, and congressional staff collectively raised a total of P5.3 million in financial assistance for beneficiaries of the Special Action Force (SAF) 44 heroes, 15 SAF survivors and 15 soldiers wounded in the January 25, 2015 Mamasapano clash.
The fund drive was done after lawmakers adopted House Resolution No. 181, in consolidation with House Resolution 186, last February 3, 2015.
The resolution authored by the Speaker provides that as an expression of gratitude for their sacrifice in the service of their country, the House extends financial assistance to the families of fallen policemen who were killed in the line of duty.
The assistance will be funded by the voluntary contributions pledged by House members thru a one-time donation of P10,000 to be deducted from the lawmaker’s monthly salary according to the resolution. Many lawmakers, however, individually donated more than P10,000.
A symbolic turnover of the fund collection was held at the session hall which was participated in by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and officers of the Philippine National Police namely Police Director for Comptrollership Rolando Purugganan, Budget Division Chief, DC, SSupt. Emmanuel Luis Licup and Finance Service Deputy Director SSupt. Lurimer Detran.
“We thank our colleagues, the House secretariat, staff and employees who voluntarily raised this amount,” said Belmonte.
The breakdown of the P5.3 million donation is as follows: P4,889,000 from 285 House members; P100,000 from Party List Coalition Foundation, Inc.; P225,800 from Secretariat officials and employees; P65,100 from congressional staff; and P20,100 from contractual employees.
The Speaker and Filipino boxing icon Rep. Emmanuel D. Pacquiao (Lone District, Sarangani) each donated P500,000, while Rep. Alfredo B. Benitez (3rd District, Negros Occidental) gave P200,000, Rep. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza (4th District, Batangas) P150,000 and Reps. Enrique M. Cojuangco (1st District, Tarlac) and Douglas S. Hagedorn (3rd District, Palawan) P100,000 each.
The Speaker said the donation will be deposited directly to the bank accounts of each of the 44 beneficiaries of the SAF 44, 15 wounded soldiers and 15 SAF survivors.
The P5.3 million will be earmarked to the following: P4.4 million for the beneficiaries of the SAF 44; P600,000 for the 15 wounded soldiers; and P300,000 for the 15 SAF survivors.
The Speaker further said that each of the SAF beneficiaries will get P100,000, while each of the 15 wounded soldiers will get P40,000 and each of the 15 SAF survivors will get P20,000.
Members of the PNP-SAF were in Mamasapano, Maguindanao to serve warrants of arrest on Basit Usman and Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” both with alleged links to the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.