Speech of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on the Day of National Remembrance of the Heroic Sacrifice of the Special Action Force (SAF) 44

Event Day of National Remembrance for the Heroic Sacrifice of Special Action Force (SAF) 44
Location Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), Silang Cavite

Thank you to the Executive Secretary for his, Luke Bersamin for his introduction. The Troop Commander will give the order for Tikas Pahinga.

The Chief of the Philippine National Police General Benjie Acorda Jr., pls. take your seats. The Director of, the Director of the Special Action Forces, Major General Bernard Banac; the Director of the Philippine National Police Academy, Major General Samuel Nacion; Officers and enlisted personnel of Special Action Forces and Philippine National Police Academy; Cadet Corps of Philippine National Police Academy; and our, the family members of the Special Action Force 44; Fellow workers in government, other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning!

Nine years ago, 44 brave men died without seeing the dawn of peace bloom on the land their blood made hallow.

Today we remember their heroism and honor the sacrifice that they have made. It is a debt that we will never be able to fully pay, no matter how we try–it deeds to prove that they have not died in vain.

It remains an obligation that we will never extinguish no matter how often we give meaning to their valor. So how do we pay homage to these brave men, whose gallantry no memorial can fully capture, whose courage no words can fully extol?

It is by working tirelessly to realize their dreams, for their families, for their children, for their comrades, for the people.

It is now up to us – who lived – who benefitted from their full measure of devotion to duty, to build a kinder and gentler society, wherein those they have left behind can live in peace and prosperity.

That is the mission that they have left us to pursue when they did not return from their last patrol.

In their last hours, in that place of honor, we can draw many important lessons:

The lessons such as to put nation before self. To display courage under fire.

To resolve to forge ahead. To never give up.

We would also be disrespecting their memory if we give quarters to those who terrorize our people.

We would be devaluing their valor if we cede our territory to those who would trespass upon it.

Although fighting machines they were, they were not apostles of permanent war. They were warriors for peace who wanted to see the day when swords were pounded into plowshares.

Let us work towards that day.

To the loved ones of these heroes, we know that nine years after that fateful day, no words can fully ease the pain that I know you still feel.

I can only hope that you can find comfort known that a grateful nation, still nursing a wound in their hearts, feels deeply and as much.

To the comrades-in-arms of the Brave 44, who wear the insignia of the departed, honor their memory by never letting down the flag that they fought for.

Be worthy stewards of their devotion to duty, their fidelity to the oath, and their love of country.

Be the patriots and professionals who are driven by the same fearlessness and fortitude that the SAF 44 had shown.

My countrymen, the defiant stand of the Brave 44 still echoes today, it is a clarion call for unity and action against any challenge that we might face.

Let our reverence for these men be always accompanied by a deeper reflection, so we too can summon the fight in ourselves to build a better future for our nation.

Huwag nating pababayaan ang kapayapaan na kanilang ipinaglaban. Sa pagpupugay sa SAF 44, patuloy tayong magsisikap tungo sa isang Bagong Pilipinas.

Mabuhay ang ating mga bayaning Pilipino!

Mabuhay ang SAF 44!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

– END –