Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, called on members of the Special Action Force (SAF) to make great sacrifices to effectively perform their mandate of serving and protecting the country.
“I was once a SAF (Special Action Force) trooper like the rest of you and I know what lies in the heart of every trooper. For us, no mission is too dangerous to undertake. No trooper ever backs out from an operation, however risky and dangerous it might be,” the PNP chief said in his speech during the Day of National Remembrance in honor of the “SAF 44” at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City on Friday.
Albayalde also paid tribute to the families of the fallen members of the police’s elite force.
“While no amount of words or tributes may ease the pain in their hearts, we want them to know that the sacrifice of their loved ones will never be in vain. Our gratitude is immense and our prayers remain fervent as we move forward to carry on with mission to serve and protect our nation,” he said.
Albayalde also urged SAF members to manifest valor and core values in executing every mission.
“Let our police ideals of service, honor and justice guide your way as you serve and protect our countrymen,” he said.
He also commended the SAF members for their unwavering commitment to serve, especially in helping secure important events in the country.
“We cannot relax our guard nor take it easy. There is never an end to the work that we do and we are not letting our guard down. A few months from now, our competence on law enforcement and security will once again be put to a test with the conduct of mid-term national and local elections. The Filipino people thinks highly of the Special Action Force, so let’s not fail them,” Albayalde said.
He also assured that justice would be given to the bereaved families of the SAF 44.
Also gracing the event were newly-installed SAF Acting Director, Chief Supt. Amando Clifton Empiso and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head, Director Guillermo Eleazar.
The occasion was also marked with a Mass celebrated by PNP Chaplain, Supt. Ronie Arong, and a wreath-laying ceremony at the SAF 44 monument.
On Feb. 21, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 164 declaring January 25 as National Day of Remembrance in honor of the heroic death of the 44 SAF commandos who were killed in an operation against local and foreign terrorists, including Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015.
This year’s commemoration culminates on Sunday with a 44-km. bike ride from Luneta Park in Manila to Sta. Rosa, Laguna. (PNA/Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)