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SAF 44, to be awarded Medal of Valor

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The Gallant 44 (SAF44) of the Oplan Exodus or the popularly known as the Mamasapano encounter on January 25, 2015. (PNP-SAF)

The Gallant 44 (SAF44) of the Oplan Exodus or the popularly known as the Mamasapano encounter on January 25, 2015. (PNP-SAF)

The bereaved relatives of the 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) who died during the bloody Mamasapano incident two years ago have one wish.

They wish to achieve: justice for the deaths of their loved ones; promised benefits which are yet to be given, and assurance that the persons involved in the questionable operation, Oplan Exodus, will be held responsible.

“Sir, President, ikaw po ang pinaniniwalaan naming makatutulong sa amin. Ikaw po ang pinaniniwalaan naming makapagbibigay sa amin ng hustisyang matagal na naming inaasam para sa pagkamatay ng aming mga mahal sa buhay. Sir, tulungan po ninyo kami. Alam ko pong matutulungan po ninyo kami,” pleaded Erica Pabalinas, widow of Senior Inspector Ryan Pabalinas.

“Ang ipinangako pong employment po ng members of families po na until now po, di pa po employed ang iba gaya ko po,” said the widow of PO3 Andres Duque.

WATCH: All involved in Oplan Exodus must be held accountable – PNP Chief Dela Rosa 

However, aside from this, they also want all the SAF 44 be given a medal of valor.

“Bakit, sa SAF 44 troopers, dalawa lamang ang nagawaran ng Medal of Valor? Ano ang pamantayan ng mamatay sa labanan, para ang isa ay magawaran ng medalyang yaon? Paano naman ang iba pang 42 troopers? Hindi ba sila namatay nang lumalaban? O dahil walang makapaglahad ng istorya?” asked John Anniban, father of Senior Inspector Cyrus Anniban.

Under the administration of former president, Noynoy Aquino, only two of the fallen 44 were awarded with medal of valor.

But this time, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to complete within this month, all requirements needed for the granting of valor awards to the rest of the SAF members who died in the botched operation.

WATCH: Ombudsman files case against Purisima, Napeñas over Mamasapano encounter 

“Anyway all the records are there. There is no need for investigations. Look at the records of the Senate and everything. At kung sa tingin mo, bilang isang sundalo, na ang 44 SAF members ay karapat-dapat sa kagitingan, irekomenda mo. At ibibigay ko ito sa lahat na 44. Kasama no’n ang ilang pribilehiyo dahil sa pagkamatay ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay nang naglilingkod sa bayan,” said the President during his speech.

The medal of valor is the highest recognition that can be achieved by a member of the Philippine National Police.

The child of a medal of valor awardee will receive educational scholarship grants, while a P20,000 lifetime monthly pension will be given to surviving families.

Meanwhile, apart from the recognition, President Duterte spromised another thing.

“Magtatakda ako ng isang araw, at ito ay tatawaging “A Day of Remembrance for the SAF 44,” he said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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No threat monitored for SONA so far – Albayalde

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 22nd, 2019

File Photo: Police General Oscar Albayalde

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it has yet to monitor any threat hours before President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

On Monday morning, PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde arrived at the Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to inspect police personnel deployed to the area. He was accompanied by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar.

“As of this time, wala pa tayong nakukuhang threat. But then again, we appeal to the public to remain vigilant,” the PNP chief told reporters.

A total of 14,000 police officers have been deployed in Metro Manila to monitor the peace and order situation during Duterte’s SONA. Around 8,500 of which were assigned to Quezon City.

The police chief said he sees no reason to deploy additional personnel for the major event.

He added that as of this time, no untoward incidents have been reported along Commonwealth Avenue and Batasan Hills but the traffic is heavy along these areas due to the staging of SONA-related protests.

Unlike previous SONAs, there are no barbed wires installed along the Commonwealth area this year but Albayalde assured that the police force is ready in case of security threat.

Albayalde further stated they will not conduct a random check on people carrying bags or backpacks and wearing a jacket unless they have compelling reasons to do so for the safety of the public.

The police chief also advised cops to remain patient and implement maximum tolerance amid SONA-related protests. (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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Duterte supporters to stage rally for SONA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 22nd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – At least 15,000 people are expected to stage a rally to express support for President Rodrigo Duterte during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday.

Among the pro-Duterte groups who have begun to gather at the Batasan Hills are Friends of Rody Duterte (FORD), Koalisyon ng Maralita, D4 Movement for Federalism, Alliance Reform Philippines, Hugpong ng Pagbabago Movement, Inc., and United Defenders of Democracy.

Persons participating in the pro-Duterte rally are wearing shirts in red, white and blue colors.

Rally organizers said more Duterte supporters are expected to arrive this afternoon. A short program is slated to begin around 2 p.m.

Pro-Duterte groups also expressed hope that the president will talk about the Federalism proposal in his SONA speech later. They also hope that Duterte will grant their request to grace their program after the SONA.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said some pro-Duterte groups have coordinated their plans of staging a rally and were directed to occupy the IBP Road near Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Quezon City.

The NCRPO appealed anew to rally organizers not to go near the anti-Duterte rally to taunt or shout invectives as this may incite trouble.

Police also discouraged rally goers from bringing bags and backpacks or wearing of jackets that may be used to sneak in bombs or explosives.

The Philippine National Police Station 6 has been assigned to monitor the pro-Duterte rally in the area. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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LOOK: House of Representatives ready for Duterte’s 4th SONA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 22nd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is all set for the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte slated to be held on Monday (July 22) afternoon.

The red carpet has been set at the North Wing Lobby for congressmen, senators and other guests to walk on as they enter the plenary hall for the gathering.

Tight security is being implemented at the Batasang Pambansa complex ahead of the SONA. Security personnel and K9 units have been deployed at the exit and entry points, including the area where legislators and guests would enter for the opening of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress this morning.

The House is expected to convene at 10 a.m. for the opening of its session, when members would elect the next Speaker.

An additional X-ray scanner has also been placed at the entrance of the North Wing Lobby to ensure that no prohibited items will make it inside the complex.

House Acting Secretary-General Dante Roberto Maling, who serves as chairperson of the Steering Committee of Task Force SONA 2019, said they spent months preparing and implementing all the necessary details to ensure a safe, orderly and peaceful SONA this year.

“The House is fully ready for SONA 2019. We have ensured that all details for the Opening of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress in the morning and the President’s SONA in the afternoon have been considered and well taken care of for the safe, peaceful and orderly holding of these big events,” he said in a statement.

“These include the necessary internal and external security measures and requirements, protocol arrangements, parking restrictions, media coverage, other physical arrangements, prescribed and required attire, and final reminders to guests particularly with regard to their invitations, seat cards and car passes, among others,” he added.

Starting 4 a.m. (Monday), the House implemented the “No Car Pass, No Entry” policy for the entry and exit points. The Main and South Gate will be used for the exclusive entrance of vehicles of House Members, Senators, Congressional Spouses and their back-up, VIP guests, and House and Senate Secretariat officials.

The North Gate will serve as the entrance gate of vehicles of invited guests, OB vans and generator sets, emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances and military vehicles, House shuttle buses and vehicles with “Drop-Off” passes.

Only those with SONA 2019 ID will be allowed entry to the building.

For the Joint Session of Congress in the afternoon, the House advisory highlights that there will be a one-kilometer “No Fly Zone” over the area of the House Complex from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The South Wing Lobby will be closed at 1 p.m. to visitors and Congressional staff. By 3 p.m., lawmakers and guests will proceed to the Plenary Hall in preparation for Duterte’s SONA which is expected to take place around 4 p.m.

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