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PGIN hails Ilocano Fallen SAF "courageous son of the North"

by PGIN-CMO

Jan. 25, 2016 ...

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan hailed Mamasapano Clash victim PO3 Omar A. Nacionales as a "courageous son of the North" for demonstrating Ilocano resilience and heroism during "Oplan Exodus" of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).

Beginning as an operation to neutralize international terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir and other members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Tukanalipao Village, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Clash ended with the tragic deaths of 44 PNP-SAF members on this day last year, the biggest loss of government elite forces in Philippine history.

PO3 Nacionales was a native of Marcos, and left behind widow and fellow SAF member PO2 Gae Ann Guiniling of La Union Province. He was a member of the PNP class 2008 and awarded the Medalya ng Kadakilaan on September 16, 2014, for a mission against the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City.

All PNP-SAF members who joined "Oplan Exodus," including PO3 Nacionales, were honored at the Provincial Capitol Grounds today through a commemorative mass, 21-gun salute, and wreath-laying ceremony with Laoag City Hall and Provincial Capitol officials and employees attending.

The rest of the municipalities and city of Ilocos Norte were also enjoined to share their respects and honor the victims by flying the National Colors at half-mast.

Governor Imee R. Marcos in her message during the ceremony said, "This came as a tragedy for the Ilocano Nation, for truly napakarami sa forty-four yungmass recruitment ng Northern Luzon. Napakarami nang Kailukoan… We are here to do as Ilocanos have throughout the centuries: honoring our dead; venerating heroes and those who have laid down their lives to keep this country and this province safe and secure."