PNP chief sees highly capable, more mission-ready SAF in 2 years

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

May 24, 2024, 3:11 pm

<p>Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil <em>(Photo courtesy of PNP-SAF)</em></p>

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil (Photo courtesy of PNP-SAF)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil said Friday he sees the Special Action Force (SAF) to be highly capable of dealing with various internal security threats in the next two years.

This is also possible through the acquisition of additional assets, such as choppers, Marbil said during the elite unit's 41st founding anniversary in Fort Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.

“Two years from now, SAF will be a different SAF. We will be handling yung internal security operations. Before, we (were) just a support group of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) but right now, sabi nila (they said) the Armed Forces will be concentrating on external defense while SAF will be focusing on internal (security) so this is the bigger challenge. As I have said last time, we cannot buy anymore choppers that are not tactical worthy so ito yung pinag-iipunan namin (this is what we are saving up for),” he said.

Marbil also lauded SAF Director, Brig. Gen. Mark Pespes, and his predecessors who worked hard to ensure that the unit remains a formidable force ready to be deployed swiftly and even in the most challenging situations.

“Our missions to conduct rapid deployment operations in situations with national and international implications demands not only skills and courage but also deep-seated resilience in unwavering faith in our purpose,” he added.

He also called on SAF troops to continue to embody the virtues of courage, discipline, and dedication, stay vigilant, remain resilient, and always strive for excellence.

In a separate interview, Marbil said there is no reason for SAF commandos to be of low morale over the involvement of two of its members in moonlighting as unauthorized security escorts of a Chinese official of a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).

“These things should not affect our mission. Sabi ko nga kay (As I have told the) SAF commander, there is no perfect organization but for you, the members, life must go on. Kung sino lang po nagkasala, yun lang po talaga paparusahan namin (Only those who erred would be punished),” he said.

On Friday, the two commandos – Cpl. George Mabuti and Pat. Roger Valdez – underwent preliminary investigation for charges of alarm and scandal at the Muntinlupa City Hall of Justice.

The two were arrested on May 18 after engaging in a brawl inside the Ayala-Alabang Village, which led to the discovery of their moonlighting scheme.

Aside from Mabuti and Valdez, seven other SAF officers are under restrictive custody pending the results of an investigation into the scheme. (PNA)