DILG, police honor SAF troopers for gallantry

ZAMBOANGA. Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. pins a medal to Police Master Sergeant Alberto Olbis, one of those who was wounded in a clash with alleged Abu Sayyaf sub-leader in Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi during a law enforcement operation on Tuesday, May 28. Abalos, General Rommel Francisco Marbil, Philippine National Police chief, and Police Brigadier General Bowenn Joey Masauding, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, visited the wounded PNP-SAF troopers at Ciudad Medical de Zamboanga, in Zamboanga City on Thursday, May 30.
ZAMBOANGA. Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. pins a medal to Police Master Sergeant Alberto Olbis, one of those who was wounded in a clash with alleged Abu Sayyaf sub-leader in Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi during a law enforcement operation on Tuesday, May 28. Abalos, General Rommel Francisco Marbil, Philippine National Police chief, and Police Brigadier General Bowenn Joey Masauding, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, visited the wounded PNP-SAF troopers at Ciudad Medical de Zamboanga, in Zamboanga City on Thursday, May 30. (SunStar Zamboanga)

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has awarded medals to three personnel of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) for gallantry in a law enforcement operation in the province of Tawi-Tawi.

The awarding of medals was held Thursday, May 30, when DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr., accompanied by Police General Rommel Francisco Marbil, PNP chief, and Police Brigadier General Bowenn Joey Masauding, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, visited the wounded PNP-SAF troopers at Ciudad Medical de Zamboanga in Zamboanga City.

The Medalya ng Katapangan (PNP Medal of Bravery) was awarded to the late Patrolman Ian Valdez.

The Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting (PNP Wounded Personnel Medal) was awarded to Police Master Sergeant Mohammad Lee Aharul and Police Master Sergeant Alberto Olbis.

Financial assistance was also extended to the families of the wounded and slain SAF troopers.

The three SAF troopers were injured in a firefight during the law enforcement operation through service of a warrant of arrest against Udon Hasim, an Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leader, in Lahay-Lahay village, Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi on Tuesday, May 28.

However, Valdez was declared dead by an attending physician upon arrival at the Ciudad Medical de Zamboanga in Zamboanga City.

The police said the firefight ensued at Hasim opened fire from the balcony of his house upon sensing the arrival of policemen to serve a warrant of arrest against him.

The police said Hasim was killed following a 30-minute firefight and the lawmen recovered several plastic sachets containing shabu, an M14 rifle, an M16 rifle, assorted magazines and ammunition for M14 and M16, and a bandolier.

The police said that Hasim is wanted for four counts of frustrated murder and 17 counts of murder for his alleged involvement in the July 28, 2013 ambush which killed 23 civilians and wounded 14 others in Talipao, Sulu.

“Our hearts ache with the loss of a dedicated policeman, and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time,” Marbil said.

Marbil commended the SAF troopers, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and other police operatives for their exceptional bravery and heroism demonstrated in the critical law enforcement operation.

“Their unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the safety and security of our communities is truly commendable,” Marbil added. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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