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Duterte posthumously awards Medals of Valor, Magalong to SAF 44

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President Rodrigo Duterte has posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor and Magalong Medals to 42 of the 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP SAF) commandos who were killed during a 2015 operation to capture a wanted foreign terrorist.

Duterte awarded the medals to the widows and relatives of the slain SAF troopers in Malacañang Tuesday (April 17). He was assisted by Undersecretary Eduardo Ano, officer-in-charge of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and outgoing PNP chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa.

The Medal of Valor, the highest award of the PNP, is awarded to a police officer who executed a deed of personal bravery and self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty. The award may be given only if the enemy force is so overwhelming as compared to the government troops.

Meanwhile, the Magalong Medal is the highest in precedence in the Order of Lapu Lapu. It is bestowed on officials and personnel of the government who exhibited extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.

The SAF troopers died while carrying out “Oplan Exodus,” the covert operation to arrest wanted terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan on January 24, 2015 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Out of the slain SAF commandos, only Chief Inspector Gednat Tabdi and PO3 Romeo Cempron were accorded the PNP Medal of Valor during the Aquino administration.