Around 500 bikers participated in the third year of the “Commemoration Ride for the SAF 44 Heroes” at the Rizal Park in Manila, Sunday, as part of this year’s National Day of Remembrance for the fallen Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos.
The 44-kilometer bike ride started as early as 2 a.m. for registration at Kilometer 0, Rizal Park and kicked off at 5 a.m.
The participants passed through the SAF headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City; SAF 44 Monument at the PNP-SAF Training School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; and concluded at the PNP Academy in Silang, Cavite.
Chief Supt. Rhodel Sermonia, director of the Police Community Relations Group (PNP-PCRG), said the participants included members of the police community from various units and other cycling organizations.
“The PNP holds the commemoration ride for the SAF 44 heroes to honor the gallantry of the 44 SAF commandos who sacrificed their lives during a law enforcement operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao against high-value target Zulkifli Bin Har also known as Marwan, an international terrorist,” Sermonia said.
Sermonia declared the commemoration ride a successful one.
In addition, he said that some police personnel and cycling groups donated financial assistance for the families of the slain SAF troopers.
The commemoration ride served as the culmination of the National Day of Remembrance for SAF 44 which started last Friday, January 25.
On January 25, 2015, 44 SAF troopers were killed while on a mission — dubbed as Operation Exodus, which was aimed at capturing Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli Bin Har alias as Marwan.
The slain commandos were said to be leaving the site of the operation after they killed Marwan but they encountered militant groups. Accordingly, the group requested for reinforcement and stood their ground for hours but none came.
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation 164, January 25 of every year was declared the Day of National Remembrance for the SAF 44.