Central Visayas police honors slain SAF members
A mass and a wreath laying ceremony were held at the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) on Thursday to commemorate the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members.
They were killed during a clash with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao three years ago.
Dr. Christine Cempron, the widow of PO1 Romeo Cempron, said the pain has not died down since the incident.
“Forever naman gyud tingali ang kasakit. (I think the pain is forever),” she told reporters after the ceremony at the quadrangle of PRO-7.
PO1 Cempron was a native of Danao, Bohol province who made his home in Consolacion town, Cebu.
Cempron and PO2 Romeo Cempron, a Cebuano, were among the 44 SAF troopers who died during a botched police operation that targeted terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir and Abdul Basit Usman.
The wreath laying ceremony was attended by top police officials in the region, Dr. Cempron, and the families of six policemen who were killed in an ambush staged by New People’s Army in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental in July 2017.
Chief Supt. Franklin Moises Mabanag, deputy director for administration of PRO-7, posthumously conferred the Medalya ng Kagalingan (Medal or Merit) on the parents of Supt. Arnel Arpon, city police chief; SPO2 Nicasio Tabilon; PO1 Jesael Ancheta; PO3 Teovic Agusto; PO2 Alvin Bulandres; and PO2 Alfredo Dunque.
Two policemen who survived the ambush—PO3 Jordan Balderas and PO2 Jorie Maribao—were also recognized during the ceremony.
“We remember our dead heroes. Their dedication was beyond question.
Their commitment and service were exemplary. We will certainly not forget their sacrfices for our nation,” Mabanag said.
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