THE National Police Commission (Napolcom) recommended the awarding of Medal of Valor (Medalya ng Kagitingan) to the 42 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers killed in the botched police operation against international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir (Marwan) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25, 2015.

Following President Rodrigo Duterte's proposal to give Medal of Valor to the rest of the slain SAF commandos, Napolcom vice-chairman and executive officer Rogelio Casurao said they endorsed the conferment of the highest Philippine National Police (PNP) award to the elite forces who previously received Distinguished Conduct Medal- Posthumous (Medalya ng Kabayanihan).

On the 2nd anniversary of the bloody encounter, Duterte promised the families of the slain SAF commandos that he will give them the Medal of Valor, which was earlier awarded only to two SAF officers.

“Despite being outnumbered, the 44 SAF commandos exhibited conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty which resulted in the successful neutralization of Zulkifli Bin Hir a.k.a Marwan and Basit Usman,” the Napolcom said in statement issued Tuesday.

Marwan is one of the most wanted terrorists and bomb makers in Southeast Asia, with a $5 Million reward in the Rewards for Justice Program of the US Department of State and ₱7.4 Million in the Philippine government.

Casurao said Medal of Valor awardees or their beneficiaries are entitled to a lifetime monthly pension of P20,000 with several incentives and special privileges. (SunStar Philippines)