The country will be forever indebted to the 44 members of the Philippine National Police- Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) who sacrificed their lives for peace and freedom, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Tuesday.
“They paid the highest cost for the priceless gift that we enjoy today, the gift of living with peace and liberty far from harm and free from fear,” Guevarra said during the commemoration rites for the fallen troops known as the ‘SAF 44’ at the SAF headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
Guevarra said the fallen troops’ heroism and devotion to the country are “more powerful than death itself.”
“The plight of these 44 heroes is a story ink in history and etched in our collective memory”, he added.
Guevarra, who served as guest of honor, was joined by PNP chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos and other ranking PNP officials in this year’s observance which carries the theme, “The Dedication and Sacrifice of the Men of Valor is the Pinnacle of Patriotism”.
Aside from the SAF 44, the PNP also paid tribute to 126 police officers who succumbed to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) during the ceremonies.
Carlos also paid tribute to the bravery of the SAF 44, adding that the incident is “a lesson we must not forget.”
“Never again we are going to allow history to repeat itself. Their lives are irreplaceable. Like generations of warrior heroes before them, our SAF 44 gave everything they had, not for glory, nor for any gratitude, but for something greater than themselves,” he added.
On Jan, 25, 2015, the SAF 44 died during an anti-terrorism operation dubbed as ‘Oplan Exodus’ in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, which led to the neutralization of Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir alias Marwan.
Proclamation No. 164 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in 2017 declares January 25 as a national day a remembrance for the SAF 44.
Source: Philippines News Agency