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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sympathies flow for slain cop’s family in Zambo. Norte

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY – As his remains arrived at his residence in Barangay Lux, Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte, people from all walks of life start flocking to express their sympathies to the bereaved family.

The body of the late Police Officer 3 Victoriano N. Acain, 32, one of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members killed in a bloody encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25, was brought home last Jan. 31.

Zamboanga del Norte Vice Governor Senen O. Angeles said in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) “the provincial government heartily sympathized with the bereaved families, as we are deeply saddened by the sudden demise of the 44 SAF members including PO3 Acain who lost their dear lives while performing their law enforcement function.”

PO3 Acain and other SAF members went to Mamasapano town in Maguindanao to serve the warrant of arrest to two most wanted terrorists, Zulkifli bin Hir, a Malaysian bomb expert alias “Marwan” and his body Abdul Basit Usman, who were allegedly hiding in the area.

“We appealed to Acain’s wife, Cleofe, not to be discouraged and accept the fate of her husband. You should be proud of your husband. He did not die in vain for he died in pursuit of peace and order,” Angeles said adding, “the government is doing its best to give justice to the death of the SAF troops. He also commended the efforts of the PNP to maintain peace and order.

The vice governor also appealed to the government to make sure that the peace process will move on and consider the repercussion of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, as the MILF, which is a party in the peace negotiation, was involved in the Mamasapano incident.

Gutalac police chief Senior Inspector Manolo Echon said Acain’s remains were brought to his residence on Sunday in a convoy from Zamboanga City led by Police Superintendent Redentor Retusto, deputy provincial director of the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Police Office (ZNPPO).

In interview with Cleofe over the phone, she confirmed having talked with President Benigno Aquino after the neurological mass and was assured of the benefits that the fallen SAF troopers would get from the government. “But I want justice for my husband for no amount of benefits/packages can bring his life again,” Acain’s widow said.

Gutalac Mayor Onesimo Coma Jr. together with his wife and some members of the Sangguniang Bayan was among the first people to convey sympathies to the bereaved family.

Meanwhile, during the observance of the National Day of mourning last Friday, the ZNPPO spearheaded a sympathy walk from the Dipolog City Boulevard to the Dipolog City Cathedral, followed by a holy mass with members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), SWAT, the 101st Infantry Brigade and the media in attendance.