P5.1M Senate savings go to SAF 44 heirs
MANILA, Philippines–For serving their suspension, detained Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla have contributed to the cause of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who died at the hands of Moro rebels in a fierce firefight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on Jan. 25.
The Senate has saved P22.2 million from their three-month suspension and a portion of this will go to the families of the “Fallen 44’’ and their wounded colleagues, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Friday.
Enrile and Estrada were suspended from September to November last year, and Revilla from November last year to January this year on charges stemming from the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Drilon said P5.1 million of the P22-million savings would be deposited in the accounts of the widows of the slain commandos, and of their wounded colleagues, while the balance would revert to the national treasury.
“So part of the savings of the Senate we will realign. It goes to the heirs of the 44, and those wounded,” Drilon said.
The savings came in the form of withheld salary and unspent maintenance and other operating expenses for three months, according to a document obtained by the Inquirer from the Senate Secretary.
The savings from their suspension totaled P22.260 million.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has also extended financial assistance to 32 families of the slain troopers.
“There was an outpouring of support from private organizations and individuals, so some families chose not to receive the DSWD’s aid if they think they didn’t need it,” said Assistant Secretary and DSWD spokesperson Javier Jimenez in a press briefing in Quezon City.
Under the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations, the DSWD field office in the Cordillera Administrative Region has given P50,000 in burial aid to 13 families of the slain SAF commandos, while the field office in Region 12 has given P25,000 each in burial assistance to two families.
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