Now on its 9th year
TACLOBAN CITY – In honor of the gallantry of the fallen SAF troopers in Mamasapano nine years ago, the Police Regional Office 8, led by B/Gen. Reynaldo Pawid, paid tribute to their supreme sacrifice during the “Day of National Remembrance for the Heroic Sacrifice of SAF 44”, during a simple program held at the PRO 8 Bantayog ng mga Bayaning Tagapamayapa on Thursday (Jan.25).
Among the 44 SAF troopers who were killed, six of them were from the region: PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla; PO2 Rodel Ramacula; PO2 Glenn Berecio Bedua; PO2 Noel Balaca; PO1 Joseph Sagonoy; and PO1 Mark Lory Clemencio.
In 2015, the 44 elite members of the police force were deployed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, who was also known as Marwan.
The Memorial Day celebration was graced by M/Gen. Leo Francisco, the director for operations, with the loved ones of the SAF 44, also in attendance.
In a message from the PNP Chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda, Jr., M/Gen. Francisco cited that the incident is a stark reminder of the daily challenges faced by law enforcement officers, highlighting the sacrifices of fallen heroes in protecting the nation.
“May their sacrifice serve as a challenge to us all. A challenge to continue their heroism, to embody greatness, and to act with honor and love for our country. May their memory serve as an inspiration for us to continue advocating for justice and peace in our nation,” he said.
The police officer also emphasized the importance of unity, coordination, and effective communication for national security. Likewise encouraging the police force to renew its commitment to strengthen law enforcement agencies, enhance operational capabilities, and ensure support in carrying out crucial missions.
Meanwhile, Pawid gave his assurance that PRO 8 will continuously rally for peace, further strengthening its offenses and defenses against the enemies. He also cited that the entire Philippine National Police and the public will continue to remember their gallantry.
“Their lives were far too brief, but they have lived a meaningful one. In the name of service and love for the country, they have made the greatest sacrifice- fallen but not forgotten,” he stated.
(LIZBETH A. ABELLA)