President Rodrigo Duterte awarded 42 members of the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos who died during the Mamasapano encounter in 2015.
“It comes late but better late than never,” Duterte said during the awarding ceremony held in the Palace.
Two of the 44 SAF soldiers have already received the award during former President Benigno Aquino III’s term.
The PNP Medal of Valor is considered as the highest award of the PNP given to any member of the showcased bravery and self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty.
In addition to the Medal of Valor, the officers were also given the Order of Lapu-Lapu, also known as the Magalong Medal.
The Magalong Medal is given to government officials and personnel, as well as private individuals who gave out extraordinary service or contributions to the success of the current president’s initiatives and advocacies.
“The extraordinary display of bravery during the faithful just does not qualify them to receive the highly coveted decoration, it makes them worthy to be called heroes,” Duterte noted.