Kin of slain commando from Cebu remind Aquino to ensure justice for ‘SAF 44’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The family of PO1 Windel Candano has one request to President Benigno Aquino III, who turned 55 on Sunday.
They want the President to fulfill his promise to give justice to Candano and the 43 other Special Action Force (SAF) policemen killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“Don’t forget to give justice for the death of my son,” said Candano’s father, Eusebio, as the police officer was laid to rest on Sunday noon.
The white casket bearing the officer’s remains was brought to St. Ignatius Chapel inside the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) headquarters from St. Peter’s Memorial Chapel for a requiem Mass attended by 500 people.
Chief Supt. Orlando Ualat, PRO-7 chief for administration, attended the Mass on behalf of Chief Supt. Tomas Bañas, the regional chief.
No national official attended the funeral rites, but Interior Secretary Mar Roxas was at Candano’s wake on Saturday. He also visited the wake of another slain policeman—PO1 Romeo Cempron—in Consolacion town, northern Cebu.
Cempron was also buried on Sunday.
During Roxas’ visit to Candano’s wake, the policeman’s widow, Michelle, asked to join the police force so she could monitor her husband’s case.
“I really want to be a police officer because I don’t want my husband’s case to just be forgotten,” she said in Cebuano.
“I want to know the development of the investigation so we can get the justice we are clamoring for,” said Michelle, a contractual employee at the Philippine Post Office here.
Roxas told Michelle that he would assist her in her application for a job in the PNP. The secretary was willing to waive the age limit for police recruits. Police trainees should not be more than 30. Michelle is 31.
He told reporters that Michelle could be assigned at the PRO-7 headquarters so she could be close to her son, Sian Gabrielle. “We have an opening at the regional office in Cebu so she could be close to her home. She can be accommodated,” he said.
Roxas has assured Michelle the government would give a scholarship to Sian Gabrielle, 7, until he finishes college.
Candano was buried at the Cebu South Memorial Garden in Talisay City south of here following a 21-gun salute.
Many of the people who attended the funeral wore white shirts that bore the name of the policeman and messages that read: “Fallen hero,” “We will miss you” and “Justice for Windel.” With reports from Doris C. Bongcac and Carmel Loise Matus, Inquirer Visayas
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.