- A Marine general scores the SAF 44 kin for ‘continuously complaining’
- He says many soldiers lost their precious lives in other battles too
- He cited four incidents similar to Mamasapano encounter where soldiers were also killed
MANILA, Philippines – A Marine general has taken to social media to express his sentiment over the supposed ‘continuous cry for justice’ of the family and relatives of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members who were killed in the bloody Mamsapano encounter in January last year.
Maj. Gen. Alexander Balutan, presently the Philippine Navy’s inspector general and who once commanded the 1st Marine Brigade in fighting Muslim separatists in Central Mindanao back in early 2000, cited four similar incidents where many soldiers lost their lives; just as the SAF 44 did in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“In the light of the Senate reinvestigation of Mamasapano incident and the grieving relatives of SAF44: Four (4) significant battles; 1) The Fall of Camp Abubakar, Maguindanao, July 2000 2) The capture of Camp Belal, LDN, May 2000. 3) Assault in Camp Rajahmuda Complex, Pikit, North Cot, June 2003. 4) Controversial Nat’l Election in Lanao Del Sur May 2004,” Balutan wrote on his Facebook account on Tuesday, January 25.
No complaint, no cry for justice
Balutan, known for speaking up his mind on various issues on social media, once courted controversy after lamenting the misuse of public funds at the height of the pork barrel scandal in 2013. He said then the money could have been put to better use such as in solving “the lingering social issues leading to armed conflict.”
Scoring the SAF 44 kin for ‘continuously crying for justice’ over their dead loved ones, Balutan said: “In all these battles, several marines/soldiers offered precious lives yet they did not complain, no cry for justice, fringe benefits nor blame anyone.”
His latest remark on Facebook came after the Senate decided to reopen the controversial Mamasapano encounter following a claim by retired police general Diosdado Valeroso that he has in his possession an audio recording between two government officials which supposedly detailed the cover-up of the incident.
A sacred oath
Balutan, a Metrobank Foundation Ten Outstanding Philippine Soldiers awardee in 2011, went further by saying that soldiers like him, as well as SAF members, knew well the meaning of the oath they have taken to protect the country, even at the expense of their lives.
“We solemnly buried our dead heroes and consoled the many wounded, wiped our tears and fought again. For we know well the meaning of our sacred oath for the sake of our Motherland,” he added.
The PMA Class 83 member also became controversial after defying former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s order in 2005 not to attend the Senate hearing on massive electoral fraud in Mindanao during the 2004 election.