Widow wants ‘all-out war’ against 44 SAF killers
BAGUIO CITY -“Kaya naming magtrabaho para sa pera eh pero ‘yung buhay ng asawa namin, hindi mababayaran ng pera ‘yon.”
(We will get by and earn money but my husband’s life cannot be compensated by any other means.)
These were the emotion-filled words of Janet Carap, widow of Police Officer 2 Peterson Carap, that greeted government and police officials who promised her financial and livelihood assistance to ease her pain of losing a husband.
”Hindi mababayaran ng pera ‘yung mga memories na pwede pa naming i-share (Money can’t buy good memories we could share) and the years that we’re going to live together,” Carap told Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas, weeping.
With her husband gone, Carap could only cry for justice for “Terson,” and a “clear explanation” what went wrong in Mamasapano.
She believes the government should declare an “all-out war” against the Muslim insurgents who ambushed the 44 members of the Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.
“Hindi ba mas maganda kung all-out war na lang doon para matapos na lahat? Bine-baby ba natin ang mga lawless people?” she said, with her voice quivering with emotion.
Roxas visited PO2 Carap’s wake at the Cathedral of Resurrection Church in Baguio City with SAF officer-in-charge Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño, and Metro Manila police head Director Carmelo Valmoria.
“I truly welcome your help but if there’s no clear explanation with what really happened, then I’m sorry,” she said.
”It’s prolonging our agony. Until no one gives us an explanation over the incident, we could do nothing but speculate. They all even survived Zamboanga siege. I can’t accept that they survived for two months but in just a one-day mission, they all died? How come? They were trained,” she added, crying harder.
When Carap turned very emotional, Roxas pacified her and told her: “We’d like to assure you that the nation is truly grateful for your husband’s sacrifice.”
He said the government, especially President Benigno Aquino III, will not abandon the orphaned families of the 44 fallen troopers.
Several sources had claimed in earlier reports that Aquino, who allegedly ordered the operation, kept Roxas in the dark on the sensitive mission, directly coordinating with his close pal suspended Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima.
“All of your questions will be answered once the board of inquiry finishes the investigation on the incident,” he added.
Also on Aquino’s behalf, Roxas handed checks to Carap. He said one of the two checks came from the Presidential Social Fund.
Deadly operation ‘legitimate’
In the middle of their one-hour dialogue, Roxas maintained that the operation was “legitimate.”
”The mission of the SAF was to get Marwan who’s responsible for a bombing which killed hundreds. So it’s no doubt that what the troopers did was right and the operation was legitimate,” he said.
The troopers died arresting and eventually killing Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan, inside the camps of Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
But Carap answered, “I don’t think that’s a legitimate encounter.” Eventually, she said: “There’s no need to argue. They’re already gone. We just need an explanation.”
Roxas also promised a scholarship for Carap’s four-year-old son until college and a livelihood assistance for the policeman’s parents and siblings.
“Possibly for others, they will forget this. But until there is no closure, for us families, we will never forget this,” Carap added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.