CEBU, Philippines — Slain Police Officer 1 Mae Sasing was laid to her final resting place yesterday, about two weeks after she was shot dead while on her way home from work in Lapu-Lapu City.
Intermittent rains threatened the funeral rites but Sasing’s family, friends, relatives, and co-workers were unfazed as they showed their final respects to the “dedicated, jolly” 31-year-old police officer.
Lapu-Lapu City’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team offered a 21-gun salute before Sasing’s remains were interred at the Manila Memorial Park in Liloan town at around 2 p.m. yesterday.
White balloons were also released into the sky, symbolizing the family’s freeing of Sasing’s soul.
The family and relatives of the slain police officer wore white shirts with text that read: “Mae, you will always be in our hearts forever.”
Clad in a policewoman uniform, Mae’s seven-year-old daughter carried a photo of her mom as she was cradled by her aunt. She did not cry the whole time.
She said her mom is her idol.
“She evaded people who are crying before the coffin of her mother. She did not cry,” said Police Officer 2 Ryan Diamada, Sasing’s brother-in-law.
But it was not the case for Sasing’s mother, Susan, who was visibly unable to contain her sadness as soon as her daughter was laid to rest.
Susan said even though justice has been initially served with the arrest of Felix Taytayan, Mae’s former boyfriend who was believed to have masterminded the killing, the family entrusts the ongoing investigation to the police.
A funeral Mass was held at San Roque Parish in Liloan before Mae’s remains were brought to the cemetery.
Diamada said the family will now let the police do the investigation. He was relieved that the suspect was arrested.
“O, isalig (namo) sa police ang investigation…gaan-gaan na gyud tawn ang among pagbati,” he said.
On the possibility that the family would get threats to their lives, Diamada said they have nothing to fear.
“Wala man mi kahadlok nga bawsan. Wa mi kaso nila. Sila man naay sala,” he said.
Diamada also said Mae’s husband was present yesterday but chose not to face the media as he was still grieving.
Mae’s workmates at the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office were also around to pay their tribute and reminisced the times when she was alive.
They described Mae as a smiling policewoman, who loved to crack jokes.
Chief Inspector Francisco Villanueva, chief of the City Public Safety Company of LCPO, said Mae’s death is a big loss to their unit.
“PO1 Sasing, being a member of CPSC, ako being a commander, medyo nakuhaan kog personnel na motrabaho gyud sa (iyahang) responsibility. And she was one good police officer nga jolly. Everyday, makakita gyud ka nga smiling siya. I’m very thankful nga naa siya nako because she was doing good,” Villanueva said.
Mae’s last assignment before she was killed was at the Police Community Relations (PCR) of LCPO-CPSC.
Police Officer 3 Wilfredo Ybañez, a workmate, thanked Mae for being a trusted buddy at the PCR.
“Anytime og kinahanglan namo siya ba, naa dayon siya. Maayo kaayo siya nga pagka-police kay dali ra maka-catch up,” he said.
Mae was shot dead last October 31 in Barangay Basak, Mandaue City while traveling home in Barangay Jugan, Consolacion after her duty in LCPO.
On November 3, suspect Taytayan was arrested by Mandaue City police in Madridejos town, Bantayan Island. Mandaue police, led by Director Roberto Alanas, have filed murder charges against the suspect.
Taytayan was initially detained at MCPO Station 3. But according to Chief Inspector Michaelangelo Beltran, chief of MCPO Station 3, Taytayan was transferred to Mandaue City Jail last Friday after the latter received a commitment order from the court.
As of now, police are looking for Taytayan’s companion, the unknown driver of the motorcycle, who allegedly helped in perpetrating the crime and still remains at large. —/JMD (FREEMAN)