ZAMBOANGA CITY — Inside the quarters which PO2 Jose Buncag once shared with the troopers who died in the ill-fated Mamasapano operation, he could sometimes smell his comrades.

A year has passed since the bloody clash but the members of 55th and 84th Special Action Companies (SAC) are very much alive in the memories of their brothers in uniform, with some claiming to sense their presence.

“Minsan naamoy namin sila sa kwarto. Tatlo silang namatay sa kwarto namin. Naririnig namin… parang nagpaparamdam, may biglang nahuhulog na gamit,” Buncag told in an interview at the 55th SAC camp in Mercedes, Zamboanga City.

But the thought of seeing his late comrades doesn’t scare Buncag. “Kapag nagpakita sila, sasabihin ko ang hindi ko nasabi sa kanila. Handa akong harapin sila.”


Special report

SAF: Rising from the fields of Mamasapano

Julliane Love De Jesus January 25, 2016

Special report

What it takes to be an elite SAF trooper

Jaymee T. Gamil January 31, 2016

Special report

Cempron, Tabdi: SAF 44’s men of valor

Julliane Love De Jesus January 25, 2016


‘SAF 44’: Gallantry hailed, battlefield fiasco recalled

By: Vincent Cabreza - January 26th, 2024

BAGUIO CITY — The Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police marked the ninth year since 44 of its troopers were killed with commemoration rites held on Thursday at the PNP Academy in Cavite and in Baguio City, where a marker pays tribute to the “14 Cordillera Braves” who died with their comrades […]

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Gunman linked to death of SAF 44 killed during gov’t ops in Maguindanao 

By: Edwin O. Fernandez - April 30th, 2023

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – One of the gunmen involved in the killing of 44 elite police officers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015 was killed during law enforcement operations in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, the Army confirmed on Sunday. Lt. Colonel Michael Glenn Manansala, 6th Infantry Battalion commander, said a team of police and Army operatives […]

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8 years later, justice for SAF 44 still ‘elusive,’ says Magalong

January 26th, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed dismay over the seemingly sluggish pace of justice for the 44 commandos of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) who were killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao during a botched operation to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, aka Marwan on January 25, 2015. Magalong was the […]

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Palace honors fallen SAF 44

By: Daphne Galvez - January 25th, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday honored the 44 Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) members killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25, 2015. “Ngayong ika-25 ng Enero, ating inaalala ang kabayanihang ipinakita ng 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) officers sa munisipalidad ng Mamasapano noong 2015,” the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) […]

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Topacio to file motion to reopen probe of Mamasapano case

By: Daniza Fernandez - December 21st, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer is planning to file a motion before the Office of the Ombudsman to reopen the investigation on the Mamasapano case. Atty. Ferdinand Topacio on Wednesday said he will file a motion on Thursday for the reopening of the case against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Alan Purisima and retired […]

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Three killed as family massacred in Maguindanao town

By: Edwin O. Fernandez - August 2nd, 2022

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao — Three persons, including a 5-year-old child, were killed as a family was massacred past midnight on Tuesday in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Major Maximiano Gerodias, Mamasapano police chief, said an undetermined number of armed men strafed the house of Abdulkadir Matuwa, 53, a farmer in Sitio Pamalian, Barangay Mangungkaling of Mamasapano town. […]

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