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PNP promotes 745 Marawi liberators

By Martin A. Sadongdong

Seven-hundred forty – five members of the elite Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and eight other cops were given meritorious promotion by the PNP in Camp Crame, Quezon City yesterday for their courageous participation in the liberation of Marawi City from the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group and the successful defense of the Binuangan Municipal Police Station in Misamis Oriental from a New People’s Army attack last December.

PNP chief Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa defended his decision to promote the 753 cops to the next higher rank since what they did was not only for themselves but for the whole police organization and country.

“Kung mayroon man magku-kwestyon, questioning my authority to have you promoted meritoriously ay susuntukin ko sa mukha dahil hindi nila alam kung gaano kahirap ang pinagdaanan niyo,” Dela Rosa said.

The 745 newly promoted SAF troopers were led by Chief Insp. Marlon Ancheta, who was promoted to the rank of superintendent along with 14 others.

Fifty senior inspectors were promoted to chief inspector; 21 inspectors to senior inspector; three Senior Police Officers 4 to inspector; eight SPO3s to SPO4; six SPO2s to SPO3; and 42 SPO1s to SPO2.

Ninety eight Police Officers 3 were promoted to SPO1; 230 PO2s to PO3; and 272 PO1s to PO2.

Dela Rosa recalled that he went to Marawi City during the siege and said he badly wanted to personally talk to his men to offer them words of encouragement.

“Kaso ang sabi nila sa akin, hindi mo sila makakausap dahil nandoon, gumagapang, naka-engage sa kalaban. I kept on coming back to Marawi dahil ang feeling na makapiling kayo ay enough na na masabi sa sarili ko, I did my job,” the chief PNP said.

“I want to encourage you to fight up to the last drop of your blood, up to the last bullet of your firearms dahil iyan ang sinumpaan nating tungkulin,” he added.

The Maute Group, along with the Abu Sayyaf Group and lawless elements, attacked Marawi last May 21.

After months of fighting, President Duterte officially declared the liberation of Marawi last Oct. 17 but the clearing operations went on until December.

Nine-hundred twenty local terrorists, including Isnilon Hapilon, a known ASG leader, and Maute brothers Abdullah and Omar; 46 civilians, and 167 government troops were killed in the fighting.