• P188M allotted for SAF 44 families

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    Malacañang on Sunday said families of the 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) who were killed a year ago in Maguindanao will receive at least P188 million from the government and various donors.

    In a briefing aired live over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. explained that the bulk of the amount or at least P151 million represents national government assistance while monthly pensions released to the families totaled P10 million. In addition, almost P27 million in donations had been collected for the victims’ families.

    Coloma said the figures came from the Presidential Management Staff.

    “Besides the lump sum consisting of P151 million that had been given, there is a monthly pension from April 2015 to January 2016 and will continue until next month and the proceeding months. The third component is composed of donations from the Senate, House of Representatives, local government units of Dasmariñas, Cavite,” he explained.

    “The lump sum benefits are from the National Police Commission and the Philippine National Police, amounting to P68,338,262,” the official further explained.

    “Other categories are livelihood P15,746,668; housing P60,800,000; education P48,578,184; and other forms of assistance P1,820,000,” Coloma added.

    The Palace official also noted that while the law only covers “immediate family members of killed in action personnel,” the benefits covered extended family members to cover siblings, cousins and even in-laws.

    Coloma said officials will report to the Senate the extent of government assistancegiven to the relatives of the victims.

    The Board of Inquiry created by Philippine National Police to investigate the Mamasapano clash found President Benigno Aquino 3rd ultimately responsible for the killing of the police commandos because he allowed suspended PNP chief Purisima to plan and execute Oplan Exodus.

    The goal of Oplan Exodus was to neutralize international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan and Basit Usman.

    The BOI found that based on the records, Oplan Exodus was approved by the President and implemented by Purisima and then Getulio Napeñas, then the commander of the SAF, to the exclusion of then PNP Officer-in-Charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.

    But the president passed the blame to Napeñas.

    In its final report, the BOI said Napenas and Purisima ignored the established PNP chain of command by excluding Espina in planning and execution of Oplan Exodus. They also failed to inform Roxas and made no prior coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

    “Troop movement was mismanaged, troops failed to occupy their positions, there was a lack of effective communication among the operating troops, command and control was ineffective and foremost, there was no coordination with the AFP forces and peace mechanism entities the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Ad hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG),” the report said.

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