The Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) marked its momentous 40th Founding Anniversary on May 17, 2023, at the NCRPO Grandstand in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City.
The theme for this year’s celebration, “40 Years of Excellence and Professionalism in Serving God, Country, and People,” aptly acknowledges the SAF’s significant milestones and achievements since its inception. PNP Chief, General Benjamin C. Acorda, Jr. personally graced the occasion as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.
Highlighting the occasion was the awarding of outstanding personnel and units with remarkable accomplishments from April 2022 to March 2023, as well as recognition for stakeholders who notably supported the PNP SAF in fulfilling its vital tasks and functions. Former SAF Directors, high-ranking officials from the police and military services, government officials, and other distinguished guests attended the annual celebration.
In his statement, PGen Acorda reiterated the rich history of the PNP SAF, stating, “This year’s theme, ’40 Years of Excellence and Professionalism in Serving God, Country, and People,’ is truly fitting as we reflect on the significant milestones and achievements of PNP SAF.”
He highlighted the SAF’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of service and staying true to its mandate in protecting the nation against terrorism, lawlessness, and insurgency.
“PNP SAF is the police force’s elite unit, in charge of counterterrorism, high-risk law enforcement, and special operations. It is a challenging task that demands extraordinary courage, skill, and dedication from each SAF member. And over the years, SAF has proven to be a highly effective and efficient force in carrying out its mission. Indeed, SAF has grown to become one of the most respected and admired special force units not only in the Philippines but also around the world”, PGen Acorda said.
The PNP Chief further commended the gallant men and women of SAF, stating, “By skills and virtue, we triumph,” encapsulating the values and principles that guide SAF members as they fulfill their sacred mandate. He acknowledged the exceptional courage, skill, and dedication exhibited by SAF personnel, honed through years of training and experience, which enable them to triumph over the most challenging situations.
PGen Acorda Jr also emphasized the importance of upholding the principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) during armed conflicts.
“As law enforcement officers, we have a duty to respect and protect human rights, even in the most challenging and dangerous situations. This means ensuring that the rights of civilians are protected at all times, and that all actions are carried out in accordance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and distinction, among others. As members of SAF, it is our duty to ensure that our actions do not cause unnecessary harm to innocent civilians,” said PGen Acorda.
He also assured the public of PNP SAF’s ultimate desire and aspiration, that is to provide “Serbisyong Nagkakaisa” or unified service to the people. “We are committed to ensuring that our operations are transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of the communities we serve. We recognize that our success as one police force is rooted in our ability to work hand in hand with other law enforcement agencies, the military, and the public”, PGen Acorda added.
The PNP SAF’s 40th Founding Anniversary serves as a testament to the organization’s unwavering commitment and dedication to safeguarding the nation and its people. As PNP SAF looks towards the future, their resolve remains steadfast in upholding their mission and continuing their legacy of excellence.