The Malacañan Palace has declared January 30, 2015 as a National Day of Mourning under Proclamation Number 953.

The day of the national mourning was proclaimed by President Benigno S. Aquino III following the death of at least forty-four officers and personnel of the  Philippine National Police Special Action Force in the line of duty during an operation to serve a warrant of arrest against a suspected criminal in Maguindanao on January 25.

“These deaths are a great loss to our people and during this time of grief, a most solemn commemoration and respect is called for,” the proclamation read. “The nation is in solidarity with and joins in the grieving of the families and friends of our fallen brothers in the police force.”

“The entire nation is requested to offer prayers for the eternal repose of the souls of the victims and for our people to reclaim our sense of humanity,” it added.

On the same proclamation, the president has instructed “all public institutions and military installations in the Philippines to lower the Philippine flag to half-mast on 30 January 2015.”

Proclamation Number 953 was signed by the president on January 28, this year.