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Cebuano ‘heroes’ laid to rest

| by: Lianne Llesol

Clad in white shirts with printed words “OUR HERO. JUSTICE FOR WINDEL CANDANO”, family, friends and colleagues pay final tribute and funeral honors to 32-year-old PO2 Windel Candano.

He with colleague 33-year-old PO2 Romeo Cempron and 42 other Special Action Force (SAF) troopers were killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in a botched operation last January 25.

They were laid to rest exactly two Sundays after the tragic incident.

The requiem mass for Candano held at St. Ignatius Chapel in Police Region Office (PRO) 7 headquarters were attended by grieving family, friends, fellow SAF troop members and Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III.

In his sermon, PRO 7 chaplain Superintendent Arturo Castillo called for justice for the fallen policemen. As the past Philippine National Police (PNP) Academy chaplain, he recalled the hard and specialized training SAF commandos had to go through.

For Castillo, PNP means “prayer and peace, passion and performance” as shown by the brave Fallen 44.

“Policemen are working for peace and are very, very prayerful. We pray that peace be ours, in our souls, families, homes, in our communities and country,” said Castillo.

He then asked the public to pray for the bereaved families of the fallen SAF commandos that they “may be able to carry the present burden.”

In behalf of the men and women of PRO 7, Deputy Regional Director for Administration Sr. Supt. Orlando Ualat assured that Candano, Cempron and the rest of the fallen SAF commandos will always be remembered.

“They (Fallen 44) have sacrificed their lives to save millions of Filipinos from being victims of terrorist bombing. I’m sure their bravery and heroism will remain in our hearts forever,” expressed Ualat.

Candano was laid to rest in Cebu South Memorial Garden in Talisay City while Cempron was buried in Tayud, Consolacion.