TACLOBAN City, March 8, 2015 -– Describing the fallen commandos of “SAF44” as representatives of Filipinos’ “desire to attain peace,” the social communications and media coordinator of the Archdiocese of Palo urged the people to continually pray for genuine peace.
Fr. Chris Arthur Militante conveyed this call in a program organized jointly by the media sector and the local police on March 5 in Tacloban City on the occasion of the fortieth day after the 44 PNP – SAF members’ deaths in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Fr. Oscar Lorenzo, who gave the homily in the concelebrated Mass for the occasion, called the fallen commandos “real men” who never allowed fear to overcome them in order to serve others. This he said was the virtue which the Biblical heroes exuded, helping them win the battle against evil.
Militante took the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Archdiocese in thanking the fallen SAF 44 who “truly offered their ultimate sacrifice of giving up their lives for the sake of peace,” which expresses a common Filipino desire.
“That is why we pray for peace, which is not only the absence of difficulties, wars and calamities but a peace in which there is someone whom we can call brother or sister to offer one’s life for the sake of the needy,” he said.
In a program commemorating the 40th day from January 25, Tacloban City mayor Alfred Romualdez, called on the people to pray even more for the surviving family of each of the Fallen 44 and to give them comfort amid the ongoing questions surrounding the deaths of their loved ones.
1st Yolanda responders
“This is a time in our life that we are faced with faith. When we talk of Christianity no body suffered as much as Christ,” he mayor recalled adding, “He was also killed…in spite of the good things he did.”
“Now is the time to be strong and believe that Christianity is about salvation, how we live our lives, and what we do is a testimony of our faith,” he stressed, convinced that the SAF 44 are now with their Creator.
He said the Taclobanons will never forget the readiness of the Fallen 44 to extend help when needed such as after the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda, but should all the more be conscious of the continuous efforts to keep peace in the country.
The SAF were among the first to respond to the needs of the Taclobanons – restoring peace and order at the time when looting, mob rule and the threat of crimes were rife since local police and the military were among those severely affected by super typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCP News)