MANILA—Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday welcomed the decision of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to approve the posthumous conferment of the Medal of Valor for the remaining 42 members of the elite police Special Action Force (SAF) who died in the Mamasapano attack in 2015.
Cayetano, a staunch ally of Pres. Duterte, said that under the previous administration, only two of the 44 SAF troopers were given this honor, while the remaining 42 were given the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
“I thank President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the posthumous conferment of the Medal of Valor for all SAF 44 troopers who bravely fought and died in the line of duty in Mamasapano two years ago,” Cayetano said.
“…This award should put on record that all 44 SAF troopers were heroes who made the highest act of self-sacrifice for our nation and our people,” he added.
Cayetano, however, said that he still believed that the “highest honor” that the Duterte administration can give the troopers is justice for them and for their families.
Pres. Duterte earlier said that he was planning to form a commission to reopen a probe into the bloody clash.
The senator cited a pledge he and Pres. Duterte made to the six-year-old daughter of the late Senior Inspector Ryan Pabalinas, Camille, that they will seek justice for her dad.
“We will ensure that justice is served for you, Camille, to your dad, and to the rest of the SAF 44 and their families,” Cayetano said.
The Medal of Valor is the highest award that can be bestowed to a member of the Philippine National Police
Pres. Duterte’s decision came in the wake of the second anniversary of the Mamasapano clash, following the promise made by the Chief Executive during the dialogue with the families of the SAF 44 personnel held in January at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang Palace.