STILL NO JUSTICE FOR SAF 44
THE 72-year-old father of PO2 Ephraim Mejia, one the Fallen SAF (Special Action Force) 44 killed by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mamasapano Maguindanao in January 2016 laments that justice for his son and 43 of his comrades continues to elude them.
Warlito Mejia from Barangay Calaocan, San Nicolas and PO2 Mejia’s father, reiterated the appeal of the families of the 44 to the Department of Justice to fast track the investigation and prosecution.
He said it’s been more than two years but the cases of multiple homicide filed against former President Benigno Aquino, former PNP Director General Alan Purisima and former SAF Director Getulio Napenas haven’t progressed since the day it was filed.
The elder Mejia said he wished the investigation and prosecution would move faster so that all those responsible for the negligence and ill-planned operation and failure to rescue the trapped SAF 44 would soon be put behind bars.
The Ombudsman finally indicted former president Benigno Aquino III, however, only for usurpation of authority and graft over his alleged hand in the botched 2015 Mamasapano operation that cost the lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) cops only last July.
The Ombudsman found probable cause to file charges against Aquino “in conspiracy” with dismissed Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima and sacked Director Getulio Napeñas of the Special Action Force (SAF).
The Ombudsman, however, dismissed the reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical injuries filed against Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas. The charges were filed against them by relatives of the SAF troopers who were killed in the botched “Oplan Exodus” operation.
He said he already has difficulty travelling to Manila just to follow up on the case because of his age and poor health.
He also resented then DILG Secretary Mar Roxas for not delivering on his promises to provide financial support to PO2 Mejia’s wife, Mea, and scholarship for his 2-year old daughter.
What he said were given in assistance were six goats from DSWD for the family’s livelihood project of DSWD.
The wife of PO2 Mejia was also employed merely as katulong (helper) at the San Nicolas Police Station, according to the older Mejia. (Nora Dominguez)