MANILA, Philippines – Fighting tears, the wife of one of the elite cops who perished in the January 25 Maguindanao clash with Moro rebels made an urgent plea to President Benigno Aquino III at the necrological services for the fallen officers: Help us attain justice.
Representing the families of the deceased at the Camp Bagong Diwa services on Friday, January 30, Erica Pabalinas, wife of Police Senior Inspector Ryan Pabalinas, struggled as she delivered her message to Aquino, who sat in front of her: “ To our President, we seek for your help to attain justice. Please, Sir President, please help us.”
Pabalinas said that while she is “slowly” learning to console herself that her husband died a hero, justice should be served.
“Slowly, I accept that my husband can’t be with us anymore. Consoling myself that he is indeed a hero. It is painful though. All I ask right now is justice. Not only for my husband who was brutally killed but for everyone who fought and fell,” she said.
The young mother also addressed rumors that the PNP SAF team was driven by the $5-million bounty offered by the US government for the capture of alleged bomb maker Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, better known as "Marwan.”
“Let us not put into our minds that my husband and his men pursued the operations because of the tag price on top of the heads of the lawless elements,” she said.
Pabalinas also had a message for all the other family members who had lost their loved one in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao: “For the grieving wives just like me, let us be strong for our children. Behind every brave SAF trooper is a strong wife.”
The young mother expressed her mixed emotions over the death of her husband who, she said, had always placed service to country ahead of everything else.
“I am very much unsure of what I am feeling right now. Should I be sad that I lost my husband or I should feel happy and proud, that he fought to his last breath not only for peace in Mindanao but for entire nation? My husband gave his life to claim peace. He placed service to the people before anything else,” she said.
In her testimony, Pabalinas recalled the day her husband left for the Maguindanao operation, and how she tried to keep him home.
She said their little girl joined her plea, and told her father, “Daddy ‘wag ka na lang umalis kasi gabi na baka kunin ka ng mga bad guys (Daddy, don’t leave, it’s already night time, the bad guys might get you).”
“Despite it, Ryan left. It is clear manifestation, that my husband has put duty first before family, and I understand,” Pabalinas said. – Rappler.com
Listen to Pabalinas' message here: