Is it worth it?: Eulogy of PNP-SAF OIC Noli Aliño for 44 fallen SAF commandos

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PNP-Special Action Force OIC Chief Supt. Noli Taliño

“Is it worth it? One international terrorist, equivalent to 44 SAF troopers? I am sure, if you will ask them, it is worth it. Dahil mas maraming buhay and maisasalba at maililigtas nung nawala si Marwan,” – Taliño
Narito ang buong nilalaman ng eulogy ni PNP-Special Action Force OIC Chief Supt. Noli Taliño sa ginanap na necrological service ng PNP para sa mga napaslang na SAF commandos matapos ang madugong engkwentro sa Brgy. Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao. 

OIC Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, AFP officers and men headed by General Gregorio Katapang, former SAF commanders and directors, SAF troopers and former SAF troopers, our counterparts, sa mga naulilang pamilya ng ating mga bayaning pulis, sa ating mga labing-apat na sugatang magiting — nandiyan na po sila — ladies and gentlemen, magandang tanghali po sa inyong lahat.
 
Sa ngalan ng buong pangkat ng Special Action Force, ako ay nakikiramay sa mga pamilya ng 44 na magigiting na mandirigma na nasawi sa pakikipaglaban sa mga masasamang elemento sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
 
Sa mga naulila, ang inyong mga kaanak, kapatid, asawa, o anak na nasawi ay maituturing na mga bayani at maipagmamalaki ng unit na ito, ang Special Action Force, at ng buong bansa sa kanilang kontribusyon sa pagpapatupad ng batas at pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan sa ating bansa. 
 
Sila na yung ating mga bayani sa Zamboanga City during the Zamboanga Siege in September 2013. Masasabi ko po na sila ay napakalaking kawalan sa hanay ng pulisya.
 
During that fateful day when Oplan Exodus was launched against Jemaah Islamiyah international terrorist named Zulkifli bin Hir, also know as Marwan — and we call him Mike One — the main effort One, composed of the members the 84th SAC, or the Speacial Action Company, seaborne, sneaked in to their target unnoticed. 
 
Everybody at the TCP or Tactical Command Post was so tense until such time that we received a text message from the operating troops stating “Mike One, bingo”.  A joyful moment was felt knowing that the mission was accomplished. And I clearly heard Police Dir. Getulio Napeñas, “Para sa inyo ito,” meaning, “Para sa bayan.” 
 
Palagi niya sinasabi bago ang operasyon, “Sino ang gagawa kung walang gagawa?” And we did it. 
 
However, during the extraction of troops from the area of operation, they were caught by the breaking of dawn and they had noticed that enemies from a distance were gathering and establishing positions. I, together with General Napeñas and other staff were there at the tactical command post and we were helping each other out thinking on how we could extract the troops who were already engaging the enemies. 
 
I remembered the voice of the radioman of 55th SAC. The main effort too that was pinned down early in the morning and then keep on asking where the support elements are. 
 
He didn’t notice the swelling armed men around them and now asking for reinforcement as early as 7 o’clock in the morning. The support elements could not get in because 55th SAC was practically surrounded. We did send the reinforcements from different approaches, but could not penetrate the bulk of the enemies until about 1 p.m., when that voice was nowhere to be heard. There was a radio silence, very long silence. 
 
After the battle, I realized, that that voice will never be heard again. And I know that voice belonged to Ryan, or Senior Inspector Ryan Pabalinas. 
 
I felt guilty, and I’m sure we have the same feeling with General Napeñas about what happened, and it seems our efforts are not enough to extend the help that they have asked for, but we did our best.
 
Is it worth it? One international terrorist, equivalent to 44 SAF troopers? I am sure, if you will ask them, it is worth it. Dahil mas maraming buhay and maisasalba at maililigtas nung nawala si Marwan.
 
And we live by our motto: Tagaligtas. On that moment of sorrow I was stunned by the encouraging quote sent to me by our pastor, Pastor Oliver Lee, and I quote: “People are always ready to encourage you to give up. Life is too difficult, they say, life is not fair. It hurts too much. But such advice fails into account the omnipotent hand of God. Even though we may not understand why painful and discouraging events happen in our lives, we have the assurance that God has his reasons. Good reasons. Don’t allow anyone to talk to you into quitting even though our trials may throw you for a loss. Time after time, you can have the confidence that God is still in control. Don’t quit. Trust Him and keep on going. A day is coming when you’ll be glad you did. When you give up on yourself you give up on God.” 
 
Eto rin ang maaring dahilan kung bakit nakaligtas sa tiyak na kapahamakan si PO2 Christpher Lalan. Siya ay nag-iisang survivor galing sa grupo ng ating 55th special action company. If you will just hear his story, it’s really like the movie “Lone Survivor.” 
 
Ayon sa kaniya, pinatindi niya ang kanyang panalangin sa mga oras na sila ay nakikipagbakbakan sa mga kalaban. sa mga pagkakataon na iyon, inisip niya na kailangan niyang mabuhay para sa kanyang anak at pamilya. At sigurado ako ganun din sa lahat ng tropa na kasama sa operasyon kabilang itong mga 44 na namatay at ang ating mga sugatang magiting.
 
Mangyaring tumayo kayo under Sr. Insp. Rex Villareal.
 
To the families of our fallen comrades: Don’t quit, don’t give up. To the SAF troopers, let us not quit, let us not give up. Let us continue the fight. Ngayon, we request, for the 44 gallant men of SAF, tulungan po natin sila, let us take care, help, and protect their families. Let us also take care and protect the special action force. 
 
Sabi ni General Napeñas, SAF is an organization where good men gather and are always ready to serve. God, country, people, and organization. General Napeñas is a good man, he’s a good leader. We thank him for giving SAF the much-needed leadership. Sana maayos lahat, at makabalik siya.
 
Our men in the field are our cutting edge. I encourage everyone to visit and talk to our men in the field. 
 
At this point, nais kong pasalamatan ang lahat ng tumutulong at nakikiramay sa pamilya ng ating mga bayaning pulis, ang buong kapulisan sa pamumuno ng officer-in-charge, Philippine National Police Deputy Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, ang ating Secretary for Interior and Local Government,Hon. Mar Roxas, at higit sa lahat, ang ating mahal na Pangulo, His Excellency, Benigno Aquino II. Marami pong salamat at sa lahat ng tulong na patuloy na dumarating sa mga naulila ng ating mga bayaning pulis.
 
Before I bid adieu to these 44 brave men, I would like to cite a quote, siguro nabasa niyo na diyan sa likod, that will encourage their beloved families, friends, and fellow comrades.
 
And I quote: “While you enjoy the laughter of family and friends, and the safety and comfort of your homes, there are men and women who sacrifice time, effort, and their very lives in the fulfillment of their jobs and duties to give you normalcy. These are the men and women in the Special Action Force, dedicated officers, dedicated troopers who know how to die.”
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