IN LINE with Proclamation No. 164, the Police Regional Office-Davao Region (PRO-Davao) paid tribute to the heroism of the 44 fallen members of the Philippine National Police - Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) who lost their lives in the counterterrorism operation "Oplan Exodus" in Mamasapano, Maguindanao del Sur, on January 25, 2015.
Originally intended to capture or eliminate the notorious Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir and other high-ranking members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the operation resulted in the deaths of 18 MILF members, five from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and the confirmation of the death of Zulkifli Abdhir, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through a DNA result.
PRO-Davao Director Brig. Gen. Alden Delvo and Acting Deputy Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP) for Operations Lt. Gen. Michael John Dubria led the nationwide wreath-laying ceremony at Camp Sgt. Quintin M. Merecido, Buhangin, Davao City on Wednesday morning, January 25, 2024.
Families of the fallen SAF members attended the ceremony.
“The SAF 44, valiant men with unparalleled devotion to god, country, and people. Their courage, and unwavering commitment is a blessing to our nation - a testament to the highest ideals of service and sacrifice in the face of adversity,” Dubria, the guest speaker, said in his message, marking the 11th death anniversary of special forces.
He said that their heroism and ultimate sacrifice in protecting Filipinos will forever be etched in the country’s history, describing them as exemplifying the true meaning of heroism.
In an interview, Liezel Inocencio, widow of SPO1 Lover Inocencio, who was killed in the encounter, expressed gratitude to the PNP for their continuous support to the families and dependents of the 44 PNP-SAF members.
“Mapasalamaton pud mi sa PNP kay perminte sila gatabang sa amoa (We are thankful to the PNP because they have been helping us),” said Inocencio, who now works as a non-uniformed personnel at Panabo City Police Station (PCPS).
While they have accepted the fate of her husband, she added, “Okay lang pero naa gihapon ang sakit (We are okay but the pain remains).”
To commemorate the fallen uniformed personnel of SAF, former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Proclamation No. 164, declaring January 25 as the National Day of Remembrance. DEF