Duterte to visit Mamasapano widows

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DAVAO CITY, January 20, 2017 — Two years after tragedy, President Rodrigo Duterte promised he would visit the widows of the fallen 44 Special Action Forces who perished in a misencounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Duterte, speaking to newly appointed police officials at Malacanang Thursday night, said he was saddened at the fate of the 44 SAF troopers who were seemingly forgotten by their comrades during the intense hours-long firefight.

President Duterte said this was the least that he could do as president to honor the fallen heroes.

The police could have at least offered reinforcement in the form of aerial support or replenishment of troops.

The Mamasapano incident happened in Maguindanao in 2015 when 44 out of around 200 elite SAF troopers were killed in the attempt to apprehened wanted suspect Zulkifli bin Hir alyas Marwan, who was associated with terrorist groups.

Duterte told the officials to remain dedicated to the Filipino people, and to the Constitution. “You just remain loyal to the flag and to the Constitution. That is all that I ask of you,” he said.

The President assured the officials of his support for the police.

“I’d like to thank you in behalf of the country for your service. And I hope that we have returned to you at least by giving you the dignity of a rank of being a general,” President Duterte said.

“Just continue to do your work. Maybe huwag kayong matakot about the future. I’m still here six years. I can always harness you back to government by the time you get out of the police.”

“Basta atin trabaho lang. I said, do not cultivate a loyalty na personal sa akin. I do not need it but the country needs your dedication.”

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