SAF commando slain in Mamasapano to get Medal of Valor—PNP
CEBU CITY, Philippines — One of the slain 44 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) will get the highest award for gallantry in action.
PO2 Romeo Cempron, a native of Bohol, will be given the PNP Medal of Valor posthumous, according to Chief Supt. Augusto Marquez, deputy director of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM).
Marquez, a regular member of the PNP Special Promotion, Awards and Deliberation Board (SPADB), said his motion was unanimously approved in their en banc assembly in Camp Crame, Quezon City, at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
He said Cempron went beyond the call of duty by disregarding his own life during the encounter in Masasapano in Maguindanao on Jan. 25.
The PNP Medal of Valor is the highest decoration for intrepidity and gallantry in action.
He told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a phone interview that all SAF members who died during the encounter were recommended for PNP Medal of Valor.
But, Marquez added there must be at least two witnesses who could attest to the policeman’s heroic acts and provide details of his heroism.
In the case of Cempron, Marquez said the board was convinced that the policeman sacrificed himself so lone survivor, PO2 Christopher Lalan, could escape.
Lalan told the board that Cempron, although wounded, refused to leave and instead allowed Lalan to escape.
“Cempron told Lalan ‘You go. I’ll take care here.’ Then he stood up to get the attention of the enemies so he would be the one to get shot and allow Lalan to escape,” said Marquez.
As an awardee of medal of valor, he said Cempron’s family could get a monthly cash allowance.
Cempron’s children can also enter the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) or Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) without undergoing the entrance examination or can be given scholarship in private universities, according to the PNP.
The PNP Medal of Valor, being the highest award, will be given by the President in a ceremony. Marquez said the awarding ceremony has not been scheduled yet.
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