by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #newmedia specialist
Images grabbed from tl-ph.facebook.com
CONSOLACION, CEBU, PHILIPPINES (Feb. 7, 2015) — Richard Cempron, brother of PO1 Romeo Cempron, one of the #Fallen44 who perished in a clash against Moro Islamic Liberation Front warriors and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, shared that peace should be pursued in Central Mindanao’s areas of conflict like Maguindanao despite the flak.
At the wake of his youngest brother, in a brood of four – all males, Cempron pointed out hostility can never inculcate peace among residents of Maguindanao, and that continued conflicts will only give rise to more armed groups, more displaced people affecting mostly women and children.
“I don’t want to be carried away by what happened to my brother. As a policeman myself, I need to be objective in looking at his case. Currently, we have to grieve over such a great loss. But after this, as we seek justice, we also have to believe that only peaceful negotiations can give way to end fighting in Maguindanao,” Cempron who is based in Quezon City disclosed.
“Pag all-out war kasi mas marami lang ang masasaktan. Katulad niyang nangyari sa brother ko, napatanong ako: Patay na nga bakit pa nila ginanyan,” he added. Cempron shared how disgusted he is upon learning of his brother’s broken skull. He also divulged that some other SAF troopers suffered from hack wounds, one with a slashed throat.
When asked on speculations that the police are demoralized by the tragedy, Cempron said he is devastated emotionally. “Do’n talaga sa suporta. Nakukulangan ako sa suporta sa amin ng itaas. At may isa pa akong katanungan na gusto kong masagot in the process of an inquiry: Bakit hindi ang CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) ang nag-serve ng warrant?”
Cempron remembers Romeo as a “very good brother.” He said that Romeo used to cajole him when it comes to his collection of (firearm) magazines. “Hihingin niya kasi minsan meron akong dalawang extrang mags. Naghihiraman na kasi kami talaga ng gamit dati pa. Nagugustuhan niya Smith & Wesson na posas (handcuffs) ko. Yun lang naman kasi ang common ground naming magkakapatid kasi nakalinya kami sa pagpupulis,” Cempron mentioned.
When sought for comment on alleged interest on the bounty placed upon Zulkifli Bin Hir’s head, having been identified responsible in a series of bombing incidents in Southeast Asia, Cempron clarified it is irrational to think that a US$5 million (P200 million) could trigger the assault knowing that said amount couldn’t suffice to launch a nationwide political campaign.
“Napakaliit na amount ng P200 million as campaign funds. For purposes of achievement talaga yang mga secret operations sa hanay ng pulisya. Achievement to boost the institution. Andami na kasi nilang na-achieve talaga. Latest yung Zamboanga siege. But the rest hindi lang nagli-leak sa media. Kung hindi sumablay sa Mamasapano malamang it would be credited to the government, at nasa likod lang talaga ang SAF,” Cempron further revealed.
Meanwhile, widow of the late PO1 Windel Candano, the Dumanjug native (southwestern side of Cebu) who is also of the #Fallen44, reiterated she would pursue public service by becoming a police officer herself. Michelle Candano said briefly that she is serious and would seek to experience how hard were the duties rendered by her husband to the country.
Michelle informed that interment will be on February 8 (tomorrow), but that the two elite commandos will be accorded volleys of fire first at the Central Command-7.###