The “National Day of Mourning” for slain elite cops will be on Friday, January 30, 2015. The announcement was made by President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday evening during his “Message to the Nation” address.
It was slated for the 44 elite cops killed in an encounter in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao province, last Sunday.
“As President and as father of this country, I am greatly saddened that our policemen had to lay down their lives for this mission. Without question, these people are heroes; they who willingly put themselves in danger to address threats to our security; they who were wounded; they who gave their lives in the name of peace, the President said.
“To honor those who perished, I am declaring a National Day of Mourning to symbolize the sorrow and empathy of our entire country,” he added.
In his speech, President Aquino reported on what they know about the incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last Saturday and Sunday. He said that he reported the incident not because he wished to preempt the board of inquiry tasked to uncover the entire truth, but because the Filipino citizens have right to know what they know about the clash.
Reports said on Saturday, January 24, a group composed of members of our Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force headed to Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Their mission was to serve outstanding arrest warrants to two notorious terrorists who have long been pursued by authorities, namely Abdulbasit Usman and Zulkipli Bin Hir, alias Abu Marwan.
As to the inquiry if work or classes will be suspended, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said there was no announcement yet.