Issue of November 10, 2019
Mt. Province
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Hero of Marawi City siege makes ultimate ‘sacrifice’
by PNA release

MARAWI HERO -- Special Action Force member, Staff Sergeant Reagan Salbino, was laid to rest in his hometown in Taba-ao, Kapangan in Benguet,  Nov. 8.  Salbino was  killed  while  serving  the  arrest  warrants for Abdullah Angantap Taurac, a  notorious gun-for-hire and  watch-listed drug personality, on Oct. 30 in Ilagan City in Mindanao. -- Redjie Melvic Cawis

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Special Action Force (SAF) Police Staff Sgt. Reagan Salbino was one of those who had survived the five-month-long siege on the City of Marawi, which started in May 2017 to recover the place from Islamic militants led by the Maute group.

He was one of the heroes of Marawi who received a “Medalya ng Kadakilaan” or the PNP Heroism Medal after the siege ended in October of the same year.

Salbino got married on Dec. 20, 2018 to Fretzel, a police corporal assigned in the Police Regional Office-Cordillera Mobile Force Company.

“I’m very proud of him; he fought until the end,” Fretzel, who is three months pregnant, said as she narrated the exploits of her husband.

Fate has a different plan for Salbino.

Salbino, a member of the 103rd Special Action Company of the Philippine National Police, was killed while serving a warrant of arrest against Abdullah Angantap Taurac for homicide and illegal gun raps on Oct. 30 in Barangay Lilod Saduc, Marawi City.

Taurac was also killed during a shootout with police authorities that day.

“It is painful because we have not even reached our first anniversary and our child has yet to be born, but I tell myself that maybe he still has a mission to accomplish,” Fretzel said.

She described her slain husband as a fighter and strong-willed.

Salbino’s body was brought from Marawi to Shilan, La Trinidad for a four-day wake. It was transferred to Barangay Taba-ao in Kapangan, Salbino’s birthplace, for a three-day wake. He was laid to rest on Nov.7.

Fretzel recalled how thankful she was when Salbino came home after the Battle for Marawi in 2017.

She said she asked him to request for transfer to a nearer region but he did not accede.

“He told me that he still wants to work but I told him to request to be assigned here,” Fretzel said.

Salbino joined the SAF in 2011. After taking the basic recruit course, he went on to complete his two-year commando training.

Fretzel said she will miss him for being a good, selfless husband.

“He did not only think of himself; he was concerned with everybody. He was caring, he washed the clothes and cooked, and I will miss those,” she said.

Her husband’s last visit home was on Oct. 4. He stayed for 14 days.

Fretzel said their phone conversation evening prior to the operation was their last.

“He did not mention that they have an operation at dawn, which is not usual because he normally tells me but I understand that maybe he didn’t want me to worry because of my pregnancy,” she said.

Despite losing her husband in battle, she said she would still stay in the police service.

“I will continue to be a police officer because it is what he wants. He used to tell me to continue until I retire, serve based on the oath we took, and I will continue to be one for our baby also,” Fretzel said.

Police Capt. Julius Cesar Ramirez, who was assigned as assistant commander of the group in 2018, said Salbino is a loss for the country.

“He is one who does not need to be told. He volunteers. He is a responsible SAF trooper. He is a loss to the unit,” Ramirez said.


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