SAF widow’s appeal: ‘Mr. President, serve us justice, truth’

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QUEZON City, March 8, 2015 – As the Catholic Church celebrates the 3rd Sunday of Lent, Erika Pabalinas, widow of Sr. Inspector Ryan Ballesteros Pabalinas, appealed to President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III on March 8 to give a full account of what transpired that fateful Sunday of Jan. 25, 44 days ago.

CROWD-DRAWER. Three-year old Camille Ryan Pabalinas caught the crowd's attention as she sung a few lines about her late father’s heroism. (Photo: Melo M. Acuña)

Reading a prepared message during a memorial Mass celebrated by Franciscan Missionary Fr. Robert Reyes and Claretian Fr. Desiderio Martin at the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in the quiet neighborhood of UP Village for the “Fallen 44″, Pabalinas said they are saddened that 44 days after the bloody encounter, justice and truth remain elusive.

Elusive justice

“Forty-four days after, we are not any closer to the truth and many of us still have to recover the personal belongings of our dead,” she told hundreds of relatives, friends and former comrades in arms, who attended the concelebrated Mass.

Pabalinas added they seek justice but justice has remained elusive.

“For my daughter Camille Ryan, three years old, she will never kiss nor hug her father again,” she further said. She noted how her husband and the 43 other fatalities committed themselves to their profession.

“The died upholding the law which makes it hard for us to understand why justice has not been extended to us,” she explained.

Appeal to Aquino

She, on behalf of the other widows, orphans and grieving relatives, extended her thanks to various government agencies, the private sector and other individuals who condoled with and supported them in their time of grief.

Pabalinas said they are not seeking blood money as they seek justice.

“In the meantime, we wait, we cry and we can only hope it will not take 44 months nor 44 years for truth and justice to be served,” she further said.

“Mr. President, please serve us justice and truth,” she concluded. (Melo Acuña/CBCPNews)

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