National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos on Tuesday called on lawmen to learn from the sacrifice made by 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) who died during a counter-terrorism operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao seven years ago, and not allow a repeat of the tragic loss.
“Never again are we going to allow history to repeat itself. [It] is a lesson we must not forget. Their lives are irreplaceable,” Carlos said.
“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.
Carlos made the remarks as the PNP observed the national day of remembrance for the “SAF 44” which, as had been proclaimed by President Duterte, should be done every January 25.
This year’s commemoration centered at the SAF Headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, where Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Carlos, led ceremonies attended by other police officials and families of the fallen police commandos. Similar events were held at different police camps across the country.
“To the families they left behind, they were sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. To the people and country they served, they were and are heroes whose devotion to the nation proves more powerful than death itself. The plight of these 44 heroes is a story inked in history and etched in our collective memory,” Guevarra said at the ceremony.
In a separate statement, the PNP urged lawmen to emulate the SAF 44’s heroism as they perform their regular law enforcement duties, especially at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is an unseen enemy that we are confronted with. As we seek to protect ourselves being ‘peace and order’ frontliners, we also make sure that everyone is safe against the attack of the virus, notwithstanding our prime duty to safeguard communities against criminality and lawlessness at large,” the PNP said.