Big business builds new monument for ‘Fallen 44’
SILANG, Cavite—The continued outpouring of support for the 44 elite police commandos who died in a mission to capture or kill international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” has taken the form of a monument financed by some of the country’s most influential business groups and unveiled here on Thursday.
The monument was created by artists of Erehwon Center for the Arts, based in Quezon City, which finished the project in one month.
“This is a historical project,” said 52-year-old sculptor Jose Giroy of the Erehwon Center.
The 18-foot-tall monument, made of synthetic bronze, granite and resin, was unveiled at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) here in ceremonies that coincided with the 73rd commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan on April 9.
Engraved on it are the names and faces of each of the so-called Fallen 44 and logos of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Special Action Force (SAF).
Atop the monument sit sculptures of an inverted rifle, a pair of combat boots and a helmet—symbols representing soldiers fallen in combat.
According to Giroy, who worked on the project, he familiarized himself with the subject of his work by watching the news and reading about the Fallen 44.
“To be able to immortalize a subject, you have to research on it,” said Giroy.
No relative of any of the SAF 44, however, was present at the unveiling.
Chief Insp. Ritchie Yatar, PNPA spokesperson, said the relatives would be invited in a separate occasion for them to view the monument.
He said it was difficult to gather all the relatives because they come from different provinces and some had proceeded to the House hearing on the deaths of the 44 policemen.
“We’ve always wanted to show the police authorities that we’re here to support them during these painful times,” said businessman Donald Dee.
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