PANGASINAN Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil has reiterated the calls to give each of the 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) members who perished in the Mamasapano clash the Medal of Valor, saying such "heroes" do not deserve anything less.
This as the former police director-turned-House politiko noticed during televised ceremonies honoring the "Fallen 44" that they were only given the Bravery Medal or the Medalya ng Katapangan.
" This Bravery Medal...is only the 4th highest medal in the PNP," Bataoil said, adding that it's "way, way lower" than what his colleagues have expected.
|LONG GRAY LINE. Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan) a member of Philippine Military Academy's class 1976 review the cadets' formation at Asia's premier military institution in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City.|
In justifying the Medal of Valor honor for the SAF commandos, Bataoil noted that they went up against an enemy force that is "so overwhelming".
" The two SAF companies faced a whole MILF base camp reinforced by countless BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Forces) fo crying out loud," the lawmaker stressed.
According to Bataoil, awarding the Valor medal to the slain SAF troops during the doomed Mamasapano, Maguindanao mission would be in line with President Benigno Aquino III's promise of helping their bereaved kin.
This is because recipients of the honor (or their families) are entitled by law to receive a lifetime monthly gratuity of P20,000, he noted.
"[This gratuity] will help [the families] live on despite losing their breadwinner. Their children are given scholarships to PMA, PNPA and given priority to join government organizations," Bataoil further said.