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In My Eyes: What is the SAF?

By Edward B. Antonio
(Continuation)

For public information, the following are some of the known operations of the SAF: Late 1980s–1990s: First deployed to battle against NPA and MNLF rebels; May 1987 – Then PC-SAF, under Major Avelino Razon Jr, the unit was deployed in Ifugao to conduct operations against the CPP-NPA; 1987 – PC-SAF (2SAC & 4SAC) deployed in Negros Island and conducted successful operations against the NPAs and effected the surrender of considerable numbers of the New People’s Army operating in Negros Oriental. The two special action companies, 2SAC and 4SAC were led by then 1LT Taliño (2SAC) and (4SAC)1LT Josephus Angan and 1LT Ramon Mateo Dizon, now a Brig General and the current PSG Commander under President Benigno Aquino III.

1993 – 3rd Battalion was deployed in Basilan; March 1993 – a small team of SAF operatives recovered the NPA killing fields in Kalabigan Hills, Marag Valley; October 1994 – two teams from 2nd SAB under PInsp Cesar Pasiwen and PInsp Cris Mendoza neutralized Commander Arabain in Tuburan Basilan; October 1994 – 1st Special Action Company, 1SAB under then PInsp Willy Cayat backed by 2nd Special Action Company under PInsp Tellio Ngis-o successfully took over the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation project from Muslim Rebel Group led by Commander Damskie. Then PInsp Victor Arevalo and other PNCOs were wounded. A bomb technician expert who was recovering/disarming anti-personnel mines was killed by a sniper fire.

December 1994: 2nd Special Action Company (2SAC) led by then PInsp Ngis-o with Junior Officers PINSP Argel Ancheta, PINSP Jech Abecia, PINSP Chito Bersaluna, PINSP Kirby John Kraft, PINSP Ricardo Javier, PINSP Jacob Macabali, PINSP James Cristobal Coy Ex-O and PINSP Joel Limson COP of Carmen Cotabato with the support from 3SAC, successfully liberated the barangays of Tupig and Tonganon, Carmen, North Cotabato from the control of Muslim Rebel Group that occupied the said barangays after they were displaced from Malitubog -Maridagao Dam. Police Officers Ycoy and Pellobello who were of Blocking Force were killed in the said operations. The 2SAC, 1SAB was awarded as Best Operating Company by the Regional Police Office 12 (PRO12).

June 1995: 1SAB, 2SAB, 3SAB,4SAB and the RECON COY were deployed in Negros island as primary component of Negros Island Police Task Force.

March 1995, the Recon Coy under then PSI Ronald Santos were deployed to Nueva Ecija for election duty and was responsible for many accomplishment to name a few: the arrest of then Mayor Joson and his 13 bodyguards who were responsible in the killing of late Mayor Perez, a political opponent of the Josons.

August 25, 2003: Several SAF units were deployed in Makati after heavily armed bank robbers attacked the headquarters of Citibank Philippines.

September 23, 2003: A joint raid by the SAF, the CIDG, the Intelligence Group (IG), the Traffic Management Group, the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), the Army Intelligence and Security Group (AISG) and the Marines assaulted Palar Village in Taguig, netting a bank robbery gang made up of ex-AFP soldiers believed to be responsible for the Citibank Philippines robbery.

October 2, 2003: Arrest of Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist, Taofek Refke; March 10, 2004: SAF teams engaged NPA guerrillas in a gunfight alongside soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion Sitio Caarosipan, Barangay Apostol, San Felipe town where 8 NPA guerillas were confirmed killed. A single SAF officer was killed on the spot with 3 injured; April 28, 2004: Arrestof Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Muslim community in Culiat, Quezon City.

June 20, 2004: A SAF officer was killed when the SAF and the Provincial Mobile Group engaged an NPA squad in a gunfight in Zambales province; July 17, 2004: A group of phone hackers, consisting of Filipino and foreign nationals, were arrested in a raid conducted by the SAF; July 28, 2004: Provided security for ex-Abu Sayyaf hostage Gracia Burnham, who testified against the terrorist group in a local courthouse; January 30, 2005: Arrest of various kidnap-for-ransom gang members in Batangas City

March 15, 2005: SAF and PNP SWAT teams raided the Metro Manila Rehabilitation Center of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City after it was captured by Abu Sayyaf inmates. Among those killed were Alhamser Limbong alias Commander Kosovo, Ghalib Andang alias Commander Robot; Nadzmi Sabdullah alias Commander Global and Sadit Abdul Ganit Husim alias Commander Lando.

October 26, 2007: Senior Inspector Fermar Ordiz, a PNP SAF operative was shot and killed by robbers in Cubao, Quezon City during a shootout despite wearing a kevlar vest; November 29, 2007: SAF involved in the Manila Peninsula rebellion after several SAF officers had arrested renegade soldiers, including Brigadier General Danilo Lim; June 13, 2007: Police Officer 2 Marlon Buslig, a PNP SAF operative was shot and killed by Abu Sayyaf forces in Indanan, Sulu during a combat operation despite wearing a kevlar vest.

December 5, 2008 – ten suspected criminals, one policeman, and five civilians, a total of sixteen people, including a seven-year-old girl, were killed in a bloody shootout in Parañaque; 26–30 September 2009 –A huge number of people hit by typhoon Ketsana, locally named as “ONDOY”, were rescued around Metropolitan Manila, especially in Marikina City. Among those rescued in Provident Village in Marikina were actress Christine Reyes and actor Richard Gutierrez.

May 27, 2013 – 8 members of the PNP-Special Action Force were killed during an ambush perpetrated by the New People’s Army in Allacapan, Cagayan; January 25, 2015 – 44 members of the PNP-Special Action Force were killed by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mamasapano, Maguindanao while 12 other police officers were wounded in action. The incident saw one of the highest fatality counts among Philippine government forces in a single peacetime operation.#