MANILA — The Philippines will commemorate for the “first time” on January 25 the death of 44 Special Action Force (SAF 44) members, who were massacred in a botched police operation in Mamasapano in 2015.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the yearly commemoration of their heroism through Proclamation No. 164 dated Feb. 21, 2017.
The SAF 44 died in the line of duty in a police operation called “Oplan Exodus.” They were on a mission to take down international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” and a Filipino terrorist, Abdul Basit Usman, in Maguindanao, then governed by the Ampatuan clan.
The proclamation said the memory of the SAF 44 “serves as a constant reminder of the continuing sacrifices made by our valiant uniformed men and women in the line of duty.”
The Palace also urged the public to remember the heroism of the SAF 44, as well as the daily sacrifices of the country’s uniformed personnel for the sake of the continued peace and security of the nation.
The SAF 44 troopers were Police Chief Inspectors Gednat Tabdi, Ryan Pabalinas, Max Jim Tria, John Garry Erana, Cyrus Anniban, Joey Gamutan, Rennie Lumasag Tayrus; SPO2s Lover Ladao Inocencio; SPO1 Rodrigo Fernandez Aoob Jr., Virgel Seron Villanueva, Noel Onangey Golocan, Andres Duque Jr., Junrel Kibete, Victoriano Acain Jr., Robert Allaga, Jedz-in Asjali, John Lloyd Sumbilla;
PO3s Anman Esmula, Romeo Senin II, Chum Agabon, Glenn Bedua, Richelle Baluga, Noel Balaca Jr., Joel Dulnuan, Walner Danao, Godofredo Cabanlet, Franklin Danao, Jerry Kayob, Noble Kiangan, Ephraim Mejia, Omar Nacionales, Rodel Ramacula, Rodger Cordero, Peterson Indongsan Carap, Nicky De Castro Nacino Jr.; PO2s Russel Bilog, Windel Candano, Loreto Capinding II, Gringo Cayang-o, Mark Lory Clemencio, Joseph Sagonoy, Quebeth Vernes, Angel Chocowen, and Romeo Cempron.
Only PO3 Christopher Lalan survived the operation. Juzel Danganan/PNA-northboundasia.com