The Daily Manila Shimbun


Palace defends granting valor medal to 42 Mamaspano SAF

February 14, 2017

Malacanang defended on Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte's granting of Medal of Valor to 42 slain police commandos in the anti-terrorism operation in Maguindanao two years ago.

"The president already signed last February 8 the postholous conferment of the Medal of Valor to 42 SAF members," said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a press briefing.

He said the appointments office is still working on the schedule of the awarding ceremony.

"So I think we need to respect the president's judgment call," Abella said.

A retired military general said giving the Medal of Valor Award to all 42 slain members of the Special Action Force sets a bad precedent as this dilutes the essence of the award. The officer has said this should not be given in wholesale.

Of the 44 slain SAF members, only two were awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest award being given to a man in uniform, posthumously.

But the families of the 42 SAF officers complained and asked Duterte they should also be given the award.

Some 60 people, including 44 police commandos, were killed in the operation against a foreign terrorist in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015. Celerina Monte/DMS