8 years later, justice for SAF 44 still ‘elusive,’ says Magalong | Inquirer News

8 years later, justice for SAF 44 still ‘elusive,’ says Magalong

/ 06:49 PM January 26, 2023
SAF 44

(FILE) THEY WON’T BE FORGOTTEN Photographs of the 44 Special Action Force troopers who were killed in a botched operation to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir on Jan. 25, 2015, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, provide a somber backdrop to the Day of National Remembrance ceremony held in their honor at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City on Friday. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed dismay over the seemingly sluggish pace of justice for the 44 commandos of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) who were killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao during a botched operation to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, aka Marwan on January 25, 2015.

Magalong was the former chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) that probed “Oplan Exodus.”

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“It has been eight years since that fateful day in Mamasapano, and yet justice for the SAF 44 remains elusive,” Magalong said at the Manor in Camp John Hay.

The Sandiganbayan in Jan. 2021 junked charges of usurpation of authority and graft against former PNP chief Alan Purisima and former SAF commander Getulio Napeñas.

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READ: Sandiganbayan junks graft, usurpation raps vs Purisima, Napeñas

Prior to this, the Sandiganbayan also dropped the charges of graft and usurpation of authority in relation to the said incident against late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

READ: Sandigan grants Ombudsman’s bid to drop graft, usurpation raps vs Aquino

In a Facebook post, Magalong honored the SAF 44 whom he referred to as “brave men…who gave their lives in service to our nation.”

“Fallen but not forgotten,” he said. “Let us strive to make their sacrifice meaningful by working towards a future where our people can live without fear and where our nation can truly prosper. The road to peace and security is a long one and it requires the commitment and cooperation of everyone.”

He then called for the sacrifice of the SAF 44 to “always be a reminder of the cost of freedom and the sacrifices that must be made to defend it.” — Niña Cuasay, INQUIRER.net trainee

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