PROVIDING muscle to Philippine National Police (PNP) units serving search or arrest warrants against ‘high-value and armed and dangerous targets’ is really not a walk in the park for commandos of the elite PNP Special Action Force.
This has been proven time and time again, and most specially on January 25, 2015 in which 44 SAF troopers were killed in a mission to neutralize then Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias ‘Marwan’ in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Last September 22, nine SAF commandos were wounded in a gunfight with a wanted drug suspect and gun-for-hire in Panamao, Sulu. PNP chief General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. personally visited the nine wounded policemen and pin medals on them.
Joined by PNP-SAF director Major Gen. Rudolph B. Dimas, the top cop visited the wounded troopers in a hospital in Zamboanga City where they are currently recuperating from gunshot wounds sustained during the operation.
All nine SAF commandos are currently in stable condition, the Journal Group learned.
It turned out that before dawn of Sept. 22, the PNP-SAF commandos helped serve a warrant of arrest for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 and murder against Muksidal Jumadil in Barangay Seit Higad in Panamao, Sulu.
However, the suspect, who was armed with an automatic rifle, immediately opened fire at the lawmen hitting the victims before he was killed on the spot.
The slain suspect was tagged as the primary suspect in the brutal killing of Nurdija Dammang Aminuddin, a businesswoman in Bgy. Kanmindus in Luuk, Sulu.
Nurdija’s chopped body parts were found scattered in different areas in the same village.
During his visit, Gen. Acorda awarded the wounded PNP-SAF personnel with the PNP Medalya ng Kadakilaan or PNP Heroism Medal and Medalya Ng Sugatang Magiting or the PNP Wounded Personnel Medal in recognition of their valor and sacrifice.
He also handed cash assistance to the nine policemen–Captain Nolie Agmaliw, Lieutenants Jhorlino Rico Apal and Earl Abdurajan III, Corporals Reymir Subion, Lindo Macua, Oliver Alviar and Andres Dalang and Patrolmen Lionel Surverdez and Edison Ray Paris.
Gen. Acorda expressed his admiration to the heroism displayed by the nine SAF commandos even as he emphasized the importance of prioritizing the safety of all police personnel during operations.
The place of the encounter was described as a main ‘transshipment point’ for shabu of the slain suspect.
An M-14 rifle with a magazine was recovered from the possession of the killed suspect. The records of the weapon is still being checked by the police.
Last September, separate anti-criminality operations launched by the PNP-SAF led in the capture of three of the Philippines’ most wanted persons.
Dimas said that one of the suspects identified as Marjun Sabanal, the 2nd most wanted person in Pikit, North Cotabato, was arrested by members of the SAF’s 11th and 4th Special Action Battalions. The suspect is the subject of a warrant of arrest for an attempted murder case.
The 2nd suspect, identified as Jeremias Magaoay of Ilocos Norte, was tracked down in Bacarra municipality by officers from the SAF’s 144th Special Action Company.
The 3rd suspect, identified as Arnel Torres, was arrested in Bgy. Bangkal,Magpet by troops from the 112th SAC. The suspect is wanted for a homicide case.