Fallen44: Aquino fails to condemn MILF, BIFF

MANILA, Feb. 1 — While the fallen 44 Philippine National Police – Special Action Force commandos will never get their lives back, the Aquino administration is drumming up financial and livelihood packages for the beneficiaries of those left behind as palliative measure but unwilling to condemn the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

President Aquino spent more than 12 hours Friday with the families of the 44 slain Special Action Force commandos discussing how the government could assist them, a Palace official said.

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On Saturday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President learned firsthand that most of the SAF men wanted their families to have decent lives, send their children to college, and help their parents by giving them livelihood.

To provide them a source of living, the government will provide assistance to those engaged in farming, fisheries, and trade. The administration will also help the children go to school even until college by extending financial grants and counseling.

The January 25 raid targeted Zulkipli Bin Hir, alias Abu Marwan, a Malaysian bomb maker reported to be hiding in Maguindanao. US authorities had offered a $6-million bounty for his arrest.

Another local terrorist, Abdulbasit Usman, was also the target of Sunday’s assault. He is still at large and the President vowed Friday that his administration will exert all efforts to capture or neutralize him.

The attack also led to the killing of 44 SAF commandos after forces from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters joined the fighting.

President Aquino arrived at Camp Bagong Diwa Friday morning to lead the national day of mourning for the fallen SAF commandos. He also posthumously awarded the policemen with the Medal of Valor given to their families.

It is good to recall here that the P-Noy failed, actually skipped, attending the arrival honors of the 42 bodies that arrived at the Villamor Air Base on Thursday, January 29.

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