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PNP Valor wall honors ‘living hero of Siocon’

September 20, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 1570 views

PNPTHE Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) is honoring one of its alumnus hailed as the ‘Living Hero of Siocon’ by placing his framed photo forever on the PNPA Valor Wall which was erected to remind everybody of the courage and bravery of PNPA graduates who have really shown the world they have ‘always been outnumbered but never outfought.’

PNPA director, Brigadier General Eric E. Noble said the photo of Colonel Rannie Hachuela has been placed at the PNPA Valor Wall to remind Academy graduates and their families and friends that the Academy has not run out of heroes.

Noble and former Army chief, retired Lieutenant Gen. Jaime delos Santos led the event on the sidelights of the PNPA Leadership Summit on Monday at the Heroes Hall of the premier police institution.

A member of PNPA ‘Kapanalig’ Class of 1997, Hachuela was then a 27-year-old PNP Senior Inspector and head of the 903rd Provincial Mobile Group of the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office when he led his men in repulsing over 100 heavily armed members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas and Abu Sayyaf bandits who laid siege to the town on May 4, 2003.

Hachuela was cited for rescuing the town mayor and his family while fighting off the gunmen. After the nearly nine-hour long gunbattle in Sicon which ended late morning of May 4, 2003, police recovered the bodies of 13 of the attackers reportedly led by one Jairulla Hassan alias Commander Hairon of the MILF.

The Siocon attack also left 12 civilians and 11 government troopers dead. The town’s public market was also destroyed by the gunmen who also held a number of residents hostage as they fled to nearby Sibuco town.

The PNP leadership said then that Capt. Hachuela rallied his men to put up a strong defense despite running low of ammunition while waiting for reinforcement, thus stopping the wave of attacks by MILF rebels trying to take over the town hall, police station, and municipal hospital.

“He possessed the foresight, the leadership, and the ability to influence events in their favor: a true mark of a Lakan,” said Brig. Gen. Noble..

Hachuela stated that he was just returning the favor to the PNP and the six of his fellows who perished in the clash with the rebels.

“It was a matter of life and death, so you only consider how you can defend yourself and your people at that point,” he said. “This is part of the job,” he said.

The PNPA Valor Wall was conceptualized with the future leaders of the PNP in mind, said Brig. Gen. Noble.

He emphasized that “inspirational leaders possess a deep sense of purpose and responsibility to create positive change.”

“They are able to clearly articulate their values, put it into action and do not buckle under pressure in circumstances where doing so would be necessary to achieve a goal, much like PColonel Hachuela had demonstrated,” he added.

Already under the supervision of the PNP Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development, the PNPA is undergoing a massive development surge amid the new normal.

It already has improved its museum, restored the PNPA Obstacle Course, modified its maroon and gold fence, rehabilitated a number of facilities in the area, constructed its Bonifacio Lounge and Heroes’ Hall as well as the Bonifacio Mural patterned from the original artwork of national artist Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco’ and constructed the Ashfall Cadet Monument out of ashes collected from previous Taal Volcano eruptions.

The PNPA leadership expressed belief that the construction of more new facilities in the Academy would help them produce more competent police officers in the future.

Cachuela and the late Police Officer 2 Jamaron Sandag earned the PNP Medal of Valor for their ‘conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life’ when they fought off the MILF and Abu Sayyaf attackers.

When the gunmen assaulted the Siocon municipal hall and police station, Sandag was a PNP Special Action Force commando who was being held on a murder case in the local police jail.

He eventually persuaded local policemen to free him from his cell and help them fight the gunmen. Sandag managed to kill a number of the attackers using the weapons belonging to the Siocon police force until Hachuela and his men reinforced them.

Sandag, the 1st PNP-SAF member to receive the PNP Medal of Valor however was abducted by a group of fellow policemen on February 25, 2009. His body which was already in an advanced state of decomposition was found in a garbage dump in Rodriguez, Rizal on March 16, 2009.

The abduction with murder case was believed to have been triggered by ‘Rido’ or family feud involving the clans of the SAF trooper and his killers.

A PNP awards and decorations board thoroughly studied the case of Sandag and Hachuela and called many witnesses to corroborate their claims during, before and after the end of the siege.