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Duterte orders creation of 5 more SAF battalions




President Duterte wants the creation of five more battalions of the Special Action Force (SAF), the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said that this was relayed to him by the President whom he said wants the police to be more active in internal security operations in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

A battalion of SAF has more or less 400 commandos and it means another huge recruitment for the PNP, according to Albayalde.

“There is already an order from the President to add five more battalions for our SAF so this means large-scale recruitment again for the PNP,” said Albayalde.

Currently, SAF has 11 battalions deployed in various parts of the country, according to Police Lt. Jonalyn Malnat, spokesperson of SAF.

Malnat said the 11 battalions that SAF currently have do not include the recently-formed five battalions of SAF commandos currently undergoing comando training.

It was recalled that after his assumption of the presidency, Duterte ordered the creation of five more battalions of the PNP’s elite force.

SAF is the most-equipped and highly-trained unit of the PNP. Before a policeman is fully accepted in the unit, he has to pass a test mission which means actual battle with armed enemies of the State.

Albaylde said he expects discussion in the coming days as to where the funds for five more battalions would be sourced.

The fund includes training and equipment expenses and salary of the policemen whose entry level salary is now at P30,000. (Aaron Recuenco)