PNP: We have fully released financial aid for SAF 44 relatives
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has already distributed in full the promised financial assistance and benefits intended for the relatives of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who were killed in the 2015 Mamasapano encounter, PNP Spokesperson Sr. Supt. Bernard Banac said.
“As far as the Philippine National Police is concerned, we believe nabigay na natin lahat ng kaukulang karampatan na benepisyo [we have already given them the benefits],” Banac told reporters on Friday, during the Day of National Remembrance for the SAF 44 in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.
“Pero bukas tayo sa anumang hinaing nila, kung meron pa ngang kailangan nilang matanggap, ay bukas ang PNP na tumulong pa rin, hindi natin papabayaan and mga pamilya ng ating SAF 44,” he added.
(But we are open to whatever grievances thay have, if there are still something they need to receive, the PNP is open to help them, we are not inclined to turn our backs at the families of our SAF 44.)
The spokesperson’s remarks came after Helen Ramacula, mother of slain SAF 44 commando PO2 Rodel Ramacula, said that around P87,000 or 30 percent of the P300,000 total grant for bereaved families are yet to be released to the family.
“‘Yong sinasabi nilang pangkabuhayan na apat na taon na hindi pa rin, ‘yong second grant namin hindi pa naibibigay. Yung first grant pa lang. Mga P300,000 yata ‘yon, mga 70 percent pa lang ang nabibigay, ‘yong 30 percent hindi pa,” Ramacula explained.
(The livelihood assistance they were saying, it has been four years but we haven’t got it, the second grant is not yet being given, only the first grant. That is around P300,000, and only 70 percent of that are given to us, the remaining 30 percent we haven’t got it.)
SAF troopers under former SAF Chief Director Getulio Napeñas were deployed to arrest international terrorist and bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Abdul Basit Usman in Tukanalipao, Mamasapano in Maguindanao.
Marwan was neutralized, but the SAF 44 were killed by joint forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Usman escaped but was killed in a subsequent operation in May 2015.
Banac said that assisting the relatives of the SAF 44 is a commitment of the current police and government leadership.
“Commitment ‘yan ng ating pamunuan, lalo na ang ating Pangulo (Rodrigo Duterte) at ang Chief PNP,” Banac explained.
“Nariyan pa rin tayo para umalalay sa kanila, tutulong tayo sa pakikipag-koordinasyon sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno kung baka sakali may benepisyon na maibibigay pa sa kanila,” he added.
(That is the commitment of our leadership, especially President Rodrigo Duterte and the chief PNP. We are here to assist them, we will help them in coordinating with the other government agency in case they still need to get these benefits that are due them.)
Earlier, Ramacula said that it was the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and not the PNP or SAF, that is in charge of releasing the funds. INQUIRER.net tried to get the side of DSWD through Secretary Rolando Bautista but he was out of reach as of this posting. /jpv
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