“Today, January 25, we mark yet another infamous day in the history of our nation, the Mamasapano Massacre. This was the day when 44 troopers from the PNP Special Action Force lost their life in an anti-terrorism operation in Maguindanao,” Retired Police Director Benjamin Magalong said as he recalled that fateful day exactly three years ago.
Magalong said that he and the entire Cordillera are still in sorrow for the death of the 44 SAF heroes, 14 of them were Cordillerans, who sacrificed their lives in the service of the Filipino people.
“For us here in Baguio, and throughout the Cordillera region, the day grimly reminds us that our best-trained warriors gave up their lives in the service of our people. We were one in community with their families in remembering the ultimate sacrifice for democracy and freedom to flourish, regardless of cost,” Magalong said.
“I share national grief over the unnecessary loss of life, not just of the SAF 44, but of innocent civilians who perished from that tragic incident. It is with sad remembrance that I mark this day as the turning point of our profession as police officers and gentlemen,” the former Chairman of the PNP Board of Inquiry tasked to investigate the incident added.
He expressed confidence that the heroism of the SAF heroes will not go in vain since the current administration is doing everything to ensure that the case will be resolved and justice will be given to the families of the fallen heroes.
At the PNP regional headquarters in Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet, PNP Cordillera Regional Director PCSupt. Rolando Nana spearheaded the wreath laying ceremony and holy mass to commemorate the heroism of the SAF 44.
He encouraged the family members of the SAF 44 to be stronger guided by the thought that the heroism of their loved ones also encourages and strengthens the PNP personnel and the organization. He said that the country is strengthened by the sacrifices of the SAF 44 heroes, heroes in their quest for excellence that truly exemplify the real meaning of service honor and justice.
“To the family and friends of the SAF commandos, let us not loss faith; let us rise from the temporary setback, and be stronger advocates for peace. Let us carry the SAF 44’s legacy and passion to attain lasting peace and order in our country,” Nana said.
Other police offices and local government units in the Cordillera region also conducted activities in commemoration of the heroism of the SAF 44. (JDP/RMC- PIA-CAR)
By Redjie Melvic Cawis