SAF 44: Two separate issues | Inquirer Opinion

SAF 44: Two separate issues

12:04 AM February 07, 2015

To relieve unease and concerns as to what government may do to provide the “justice” demanded by the widows and orphans of the 44 Special Action Force policemen and the entire nation, the executive department, as well as the peace panel, should confirm the following facts:

  1. That all territory of the Philippines, as defined in the Constitution and relevant laws, are subject to the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines, including those occupied, if any, by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or other similar groups.
  1. That the MILF, and similar groups, and all those who compose them are subject to the Constitution and to all laws of the Republic of the Philippines.

Two questions arise, independent and distinct of each other.

The “killing,” “massacre,” “slaughter,” or by whatever name the incident may be described, of the 44 SAF members are criminal offenses under our law. When a crime is committed, the question for determination is, who committed the crime? The process of investigation should be expeditiously concluded, prosecution should then be promptly commenced and trial speedily concluded. We should assure that the prosecution of those responsible for the killing of the 44 SAF policemen does not go in the same way as the prosecution of those responsible for the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.


The above is the responsibility of the president, or the executive department. Before assuming office, the president takes an oath which reads as follows:


“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President (or Vice President or Acting President) of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, (emphasis ours) and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.”

The other question is, how did the 44 SAF troopers get into a situation where they were apparently unable to put meaningful defense against the assault on them?

This issue must likewise be addressed by President Aquino as commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and as head of the executive department, of which the police force is an integral part.

Regrettably, this question has apparently dominated the first issue and has prompted some members of Congress to propose the creation of a “Truth Commission.” This should be considered as a distinct and separate issue, and except to the extent that it is inextricably linked to the investigation of the killing of the 44 SAF policemen and the prosecution of those responsible, resolution of this issue should perhaps be deferred.


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: #saf44, Constitution, justice, letters, mamasapano clash, president Aquino iii

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.