Members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police are not only expert in responding to covert police operations. They also provide assistance to communities during emergency.
This is what the 14th Special Action Battalion (SAB) did when Typhoon Ulysses battered Luzon a few weeks ago.
The SAB of the PNP-SAF is part of the expansion of the PNP’s elite unit to have a whole country coverage. The company’s expertise is on search, rescue, and retrieval (SRR) operations.
The 14th SAB was deployed in April 15 to cover Northern Luzon. They are guided by the motto, “For Honor and Glory” in maintaining peace, order, and security in their area of operation. The unit is based in Lamut, Ifugao.
The 14th SAB, headed by Battalion Commander, Lt.Col. Melchor Buaquen, has gone out of their way and rendered several SRR and road clearing and relief operations in Benguet, Kalinga, and Ifugao during and after the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
In Ifugao, a company of the 14th SAB led by Maj. Jan Michael Jardin joined the SRR operation from Nov. 13 to 16 at Barangay Sumgar Vewpoint in Banaue where a major landslide buried a house with 12 individuals including four employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The 14th SAB members joined the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, and other volunteers for the search and retrieval of the landslide victims. The SSR operations extended along the rivers of Lamut.
The company, led by Capt. Roldan Portera also responded to a landslide incident along Mungayang Road in Kiangan and cleared fallen trees along Sanafe-Poblacion Road in Lamut.
In Benguet, a 14th SAB Company led by Capt. Boni Dulag conducted a couple of road clearing operations along the Halsema Highway particularly at Sitio Kotkot, Barangay Bangao, Buguias and along Ambalag Road, Barangay. Ginaoang in Mankayan.
For Kalinga, the company under Capt. Jedediah Tuan responded in clearing a landslide at Sitio Eleb, Barangay Nambaran in Tabuk City.
On their way back to the camp, the group retrieved an unidentified body along the irrigation between Barangay Bulanao Norte and Barangay Ipil, also of Tabuk City.
Outside the Cordillera, 14th SAB personnel under the supervision and control of Buaquen joined in the SSR operations participated in by local PNP units, AFP, and different organizations and government agencies in the retrieval of 10 missing individuals buried in a landslide at Barangay Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya last Nov. 12.
The operations resulted in the retrieval of the cadavers.
Buaquen said they do not only focus on the conduct of internal security operations in the Cordillera but also in providing services to the people.
The 14th SAB also established the “Adopt- a-Child” program in which the unit regularly sustains financial and moral support to deserving recipients.
They also have the “Adopt-a-Family” program with one family each in Bangued, Abra and Buguias, Benguet.
“We also support comrades who are separated from the service, and we also adopt school wherein maintenance work for the school is provided by our personnel,” Buquen added. – Carlito C. Dar