Slain SAF kin snub Aquino

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VIRAC, CATANDUANES: The family of Police Senior Insp. Max Jim Tria, one of the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) fallen heroes in the Mamasapano, Maguindanao weekend carnage, did not wait on President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s scheduled activity of leading the necrological service at Camp Bagong Diwa, the SAF headquarters in Taguig City, Metro Manila.

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They opted to bring back the remains of their fallen hero to his hometown in Catanduanes instead of receiving a medal and a plaque that Aquino was to give yesterday.

Tria is the 27-year-old son of Police Senior Insp. Guillermo Tria, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Internal Affairs Service of the Catanduanes Provincial Police Office.

The fallen hero was met by his family, 20 of his mistahs (batch-mates) currently assigned in Bicol region and some government officers led by Gov. Cely Wong. Provincial Police Director Adel Castillo, Tria’s relatives, friends and fellow Catandunganons were also there to welcome him.

Tria remains was carried shoulder-to-shoulder by his mistahs in the PNPA Class 2009 led by Police Senior Insp. Jan King Calipay, current chief of police of Polangui town in Albay.

Calipay and his 19 mistahs shaved their heads as a sign of protest and as a call for justice.

“We’re grieving for our mistahs and the rest of the troopers. Our snappiest salute to our fallen brothers and heroes of Maguindanao carnage,” Calipay told The Manila Times.

At least 44 elite PNP-SAF men were killed by rebels belonging to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). This came after intelligence reports point to the groups as the ones cuddling international terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Basit Usman.

The members of the Bicol Philippine National police lead by Chief Supt. Victor Deona, PNP Bicol regional director, also expressed sorrow over the killing of the PNP-SAF men.

As the policemen were mourning, Deona called on his men not to be swayed by their emotions. “My heart bleeds for the SAF troopers. I had been in the operation unit for so long. I personally saw the same incident with my own eyes and I know how it pains their loved ones,” Deona said.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the 44 fallen PNP-SAF heroes deserve justice.

“Many may disagree with me, but the issue here is justice for the victims of MILF brutality and betrayal. The constituency for peace has been decimated by the violence and can only be restored by justice,” Salceda said.

“Our people are deeply thankful to them as we, especially our youth, take inspiration from the moral courage they have demonstrated when they enforced the rule of law,” Salceda said.

The provincial government of Albay led by Salceda also provided P10,000 assistance for the families of the fallen heroes in Maguindanao carnage.

On Friday, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay under the helm of Vice Gov. Harold Ong Imperial passed and approved P10,000 financial assistance to the bereaved families of each of the 44 PNP-SAF slaughtered in cold blood in the open fields of Maguindanao.

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