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Last Jan. 25, the whole Philippine nation was saddened to learn about the massacre of the 44 Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) which happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. It was a costly clash between the SAF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). As stated in the reports, those SAF were there to serve the arrest warrants to high-profile international terrorists. They did kill one of the two targets but unfortunately, these brave men lost their lives as well.
Many Filipinos sent their sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families of the Fallen 44. Many are calling for justice and would like to know how this disastrous event happened. We will need to wait for the investigations to roll in order for us to know the facts behind this Mamasapano clash.
After hearing about this, my cousin, Ton Concepcion and his team, decided to give tribute to the Fallen 44 through the Condura Skyway Marathon 2015. He is the chief organizing officer of this yearly marathon and the president and COO of Condura. This is the seventh year of the marathon which has a theme of “Run for a Hero.” More than 15,000 runners participated in the event. It may seem to be is a simple marathon, but it turned out to be an emotional tribute.
Some 4.4 kilometers from the finish line, 44 members of the PNP formed a line and held framed pictures of their comrades who died in Mamasapano. As runners passed by, they saluted and paid their respects to the soldiers. Some even stopped in front of the pictures to send their condolences. Some even ran barefoot just to show their deep respect and homage to the SAF members. It was also their way to express their gratitude for protection and sacrifice made by the SAF 44 for the safety of the nation.
Participants had to hold back their tears as they felt the emotion of everyone who wanted to give respect. It was a heart warming event, seeing the runners’ eagerness to mourn with the slain SAF’s families.
Investigations will start right away and I’m sure that it might take a while to see the end of this issue. We in Go Negosyo send our sympathies and prayers to the fallen heroes and their families. We offer our services and programs to the bereaved family members of the SAF 44. We hope that their death will be given justice and that those who are responsible will be held liable.
Salute to the Fallen 44 and congratulations to Condura!
Right after the papal visit, the final Philippine round of SouthEast Asia Mobile App Challenge was conducted. Last Jan. 20, the top 20 semi-final teams pitched their creative mobile application ideas to our panel of judges which included Myla Villanueva (MDI Group), Paris de L’Etraz (IE Business School), Jeff Char (JSeed Ventures), Chellapa Panickar (Asia Cap PTE Ltd.), Mon Ibrahim (DOST-ICTO Office), Paco Sandejas (Narra Ventures), Robert Calingo (Peace and Equity Foundation), Bettina Quimson (DOST-eSociety), Ibba Bernardo (Sari Software), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Beverly Tantiansu (IdeaSpace) and Mon Lopez (Go Negosyo).
Teams were given only three minutes to pitch their concepts to the judges and another three minutes for the question and answer portion. The top 10 teams were given a cash grant of P100,000 courtesy of our program partner Peace & Equity Foundation. The top 10 teams are: Team Filterr (Filterr), Team Kargadoor (Kargadoor), Team Rocketeers (Made-2Order), Team HIA (HistoryA), Team WOT (PasaHeroes), Team Volo (Volo), Team Siglo (Siglo), Team Rio J (RescueWhere), Team Orderee (Orderee) and the Team Help App (Help App).
The top three teams were also selected to represent the Philippines in the regional finals of SEAMAC in Singapore this week on Feb. 6. They are: led by Alvin Tan; led by Maria Teresa Dumlao and led by John Paul Barcelon.
We would also like to thank SMART for their support in selecting the People’s Choice award which was given to Team Leaf.
We send our support to the three teams who will fly to Singapore today for the regional finals. We hope that one of you will reach the SEAMAC Finals in Barcelona!
The top three teams of the SEAMAC Philippines with the board of judges.