Press Release
January 25, 2017

Cayetano to SAF families: justice will be served under Du30 admin

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano assured bereaved families of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members killed during the January 2015 Mamasapano massacre that justice will be served under the new administration.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (January 24) conducted a dialogue with families of the slain commandos, a day before the second-year anniversary of the gruesome encounter in Mindanao.

Cayetano was with Duterte to listen to the families who were invited by the President to the Palace. The senator issued a short message to pay tribute to the SAF members who died in the line of duty.

"In this anniversary, we will remember the heroes who gave their lives two years ago... It is a sad and glorious day... Ang tinanim ng inyong mga kamag-anak ay dugo para magkaroon ng hustisya at kapayapaan," the senator said.

"Ang inyong mga kamag-anak... they had a big contribution to the Philippines that is about to come. A Philippines where lahat tayo ay Pilipino, lahat tayo ay nagmamahalan," he added.

The senator further lamented that two years have passed since the bloodbath claimed the lives of the 44 SAF troopers, but up to now, justice continues to be elusive, and those responsible for the blotched operation have not been held accountable.

He also criticized the previous administration for failing to provide the assistance that was promised to the victims' families.

"Ang isa pong kinasasama ng loob ng ating mga naulila ay parang OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) din. Sila ay tinatawag na bayani, yet hindi man lang sinigurado ang pag-deliver sa kanila ng mga pangako," he stressed.

Cayetano, however, said he is confident that under Duterte's leadership, the government would finally be able to seek justice for the policemen and to deliver the much-needed help that their families deserve.

"(This incident) produced a man, President Rodrigo Duterte, who understands both peace and war, who understands the barrel of the gun, but also understands how to put together people in peace... I am confident that in his administration... you (will) get justice," he said.

"Ako po ay naniniwala, ang ipinaglaban po ng inyong pamilya, 'yun din ang ipinaglalaban ng Presidente," he added.

Cayetano also welcomed Duterte's plan to create an independent commission that would conduct further investigation on the issue, as well as to declare January 25 as a national memorial day to honor the memory of the SAF 44.

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