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Remember the brave: SAF 44 honored on death anniversary

Charles Dantes

President Marcos reminded the public Thursday to remember the heroic sacrifices of the Special Action Force (SAF) 44 policemen, who displayed courage to secure peace in the country nine years ago.

“Let us not forget about the peace they fought for. In honoring the SAF 44, let us continue striving towards a New Philippines,” the President said in Tagalog during a wreath-laying ceremony on the 9th death anniversary of the SAF 44 at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Silang, Cavite.

President Marcos stressed the enduring legacy of the Brave 44, echoing a call for unity and action against challenges. “We would also be disrespecting their memory if we give quarters to those who terrorize our people,” he said.

“We would be devaluing their valor if we cede our territory to those who would trespass upon it,” the chief executive underscored. He stated the importance of reflecting deeply on their sacrifice, motivating everyone to summon the same fighting spirit to build a better future for the nation.

“It is now up to us, who lived, who benefitted from their full measure of devotion to duty, to build a kinder and gentler society, wherein those they have left behind can live in peace and prosperity. That is the mission they have left us to pursue when they did not return from their last patrol,” he said.

President Marcos said that homage to these heroes can only be paid by earnestly working towards the realization of dreams for family, loved ones, comrades, and the people.

Reflecting on the lessons drawn from the last hours and the place of honor of the SAF 44, he urged the nation to prioritize the collective good, exhibit courage in challenging circumstances, resolve to forge ahead, and never succumb to adversity.

President Marcos also extended his heartfelt wishes for the comfort of the loved ones of the SAF 44, urging comrades-in-arms to uphold their memory by unwaveringly defending the ideals and principles they fought for.

He urged the public to be worthy stewards of their devotion to duty, fidelity to the oath, and love of country.

The 44 SAF commandos lost their lives in a firefight with insurgents during the “Oplan Exodus” police operation to neutralize Malaysian bomb maker and Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25, 2015.

On February 21, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 164, declaring January 25 of every year as the Day of National Remembrance for the SAF 44.

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