GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 March) – The Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) has released P20,000 in funeral benefit to the family of a police commando from Sultan Kudarat province who was among those slain in the bloody clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.
Ofelia Domingo, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 12 director, said Thursday they delivered the cash benefit recently to the family of the late Police Officer 2 Roger Cordero, who hails from Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat.
She said the release of the benefit was facilitated by ECC Region 12, which is an attached agency of DOLE-12.
“It was in response to a directive from our central office,” she said.
Domingo said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz specifically ordered the speedy release of “employees’ compensation, insurance and funeral benefits” due to families of the 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who died in the Mamasapano encounter.
The SAF troopers were serving arrest warrants for Malaysian bombing suspect Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and local bomb expert Abdul Basit Usman in the outskirts of Mamasapano, Maguindanao when they clashed with the members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Marwan, who was reportedly killed in the operation, and Usman were included in the terror list of the United States and carry a combined bounty of US$6 million.
Domingo said the funeral benefit released by the ECC was mainly drawn from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
She said the families of the 44 slain police commandos were entitled to receive benefits from the GSIS under the employment-compensation claims and benefits component.
Aside from the funeral benefits, she said the dependents of the slain policemen will also receive monthly pensions that have yet to be determined.
The beneficiaries include the surviving spouse until she remarries and their children under 21 years of age, she said.
ECC-12 and GSIS-General Santos personnel earlier visited the family of PO2 Cordero as part of their Quick Response Program, she said.
Domingo said the two agencies assured the slain policeman’s spouse that they will coordinate closely for the release of the benefits and other assistance until she receives her survivorship pension, which also covers their nine-year-old son.
The official said their families may also avail of assistance from the ECC’s Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan or KaGabay program.
“The program aims to assist people with work-related diseases and the heirs of those who died in the line of duty,” she said.
It also aims to facilitate their integration into the economic mainstream through physical restoration, training for re-employment, or self-entrepreneurship, Domingo added.