THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is looking at the possibility of awarding the Medal of Valor to the 42 other Special Action Force (SAF) commandos killed in the botched Mamasapano operation last 2015, a police official said Wednesday.
PNP spokesperson Dionardo Carlos said they are now reviewing if the 42 out of the 44 SAF commandos who are also qualified to receive the Medal of Valor, the highest award that can be given to a PNP member.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the review after learning that only two elite cops had been awarded the honor.
“The order was given to the Chief PNP–up to the end of the month–to review if the 42 others are qualified to receive the Valor based on their actions and participations,” he said.
“Hindi kasi pare-pareho ‘yung mga naging action but the end result [is] they sacrificed their lives for the mission. So kami pag-aaralan namin kung qualified sila. Why not give them if they have sacrificed their life for that mission,” Carlos added.
He said the review is being conducted by the Special Promotions, Awards and Decorations Board under the Directorate for Personal and Records Management.
They will then submit their report to PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa. After that, Duterte will make the final approval.
On January 25, 2015, 44 SAF commandos were killed in an operation dubbed Oplan Exodus, after encountering rebels in Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao while attempting to nab high value terrorists Zulkifli Abdhir alias Marwan and Abdul Basit. (SunStar Philippines)