The city government of Makati on Wednesday distributed P100,000 financial assistance to the families of the 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., together with his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, welcomed family members of the ‘Heroes 44’ with a simple tribute held at the Session Hall, 22nd Floor, Makati City Hall.
In his message to them, Mayor Binay assured the families that they were not alone in their fight for justice and pursuit of peace.
“The people and the city government of Makati support you,” he said, according to a statement.
Aside from the financial assistance, the city government has also offered college scholarship at the city-run University of Makati to the children or siblings of the slain commandos.
“This is our humble way of honoring our heroes. This is our way of showing our heartfelt gratitude for their courage to remain true to their duty of safeguarding the peace up to their last breath,” the mayor said.
He exhorted the bereaved families to remain strong and continue to pursue a bright future, which he said was what their beloved heroes would have wanted.
“Never let go of their memory, but never let go either of those dreams you shared and built with them when they were still alive,” Mayor Binay said.
A short video tribute titled “In Memoriam: Makati’s Special Tribute to Heroes 44” was also shown during the program.
Family members who attended the tribute and received the check included Esther Anniban, mother of Senior Inspector Cyrus Anniban; Rico Erana, father of Senior Insp. John Garry Erana; Erica Pabalinas, wife of Senior Insp. Ryan Pabalinas; Leah Tabdi, wife of Senior Insp. Gednat Tabdi; Guillermo Tria, father of Senior Insp. Maxjim Tria; Merlyn Gamutan, wife of Insp. Joey Gamutan; Trinidad Tayrus, mother of Insp. Rennie Tayrus; Liezel Inocencio, wife of Senior Police Offi-cer 1 Lover Inocencio; Cleofe Acain, wife of PO3 Victoriano Acain; and Haslyn Acob, wife of PO3 Rodrigo Acob Jr.
The other beneficiaries present were Jennifer Allaga, wife of PO3 Robert Allaga; Rohirmina Asjali, mother of PO3 Jedz-in Asjali; Melanie Duque, wife of PO3 Andres Duque; Marie Angeli Golocan, wife of PO3 Noel Golocan; Maryjane Kibete, sister of PO3 Junrel Kibete; Raechel June Sumbilla, wife of PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla; Yvette Villanueva, wife of PO3 Virgel Villanueva; Cornillie Agabon, wife of PO2 Chum Agabon; Noel Balaca Sr., father of PO2 Noel Balaca Jr.; and Santiago Baluga, father of PO2 Richelle Baluga.
Also in attendance were Adelisa Bedua, wife of PO2 Glenn Bedua; Zilsa Cabanlet, wife of PO2 Godofredo Cabanlet; Janet Carap, wife of PO2 Peterson Carap; Emeliza Danao, wife of PO2 Walner Danao; Benedict Danao, brother of PO2 Franklin Danao; Joseph Dulnuan, father of PO2 Joel Dulnuan; Eliza Esmula, wife of PO2 Amman Esmula; Aurelyn Kayob, wife of PO2 Jerry Kayob; Christine Kiangan, wife of PO2 Noble Kiangan; Miya Mejia, wife of PO2 Ephraim Mejia; Roselle Nacino, wife of PO2 Nicky Nacino; and Gae Ann Nacionales, wife of PO2 Omar Nacionales.
The rest of the ‘Heroes 44’ were represented by Helen Eva Ramacula, mother of PO2 Rodel Ramacula; Edelyn Senin, wife of PO2 Romeo Senin; Celestino Bilog, father of PO1 Russel Bilog; Michelle Candano, wife of PO1 Windel Candano; Loreto Capinding, father of PO1 Loreto Capinding 2nd; Julie Cayang-o, wife of PO1 Gringo Cayang-o; Kristine Clemencio, wife of PO1 Mark Lory Clemencio; Francis Kodiamat, father of PO1 Angel Kodiamat; Flavio Sagonoy, father of PO1 Joseph Sagonoy; Virgie Viernes, wife of PO1 Oliebeth Viernes; Ellene Cordero, wife of PO2 Roger Cordero; and Christin Cempron, wife of PO1 Romeo Cempron.
Also present at the ceremony were city councilors, department heads and some officials of the Philippine National Police from the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) Police Office and Southern Police District.
Last February 8, the Binays visited and distributed P100,000 each to the 15 wounded troops of the PNP-SAF who survived the bloody mission.