By Martin Sadongdong
A total of 508 police officers started Wednesday the intensive Special Action Force (SAF) commando training in its training school in Santa Rosa, Laguna as part of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s campaign to instill discipline among its members.
No less than PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde led the incorporation of the newest batch of trainees as Commando Course Classes 81 to 84 officially commenced at SAF training school in Fort Santo Domingo, Santa Rosa City.
The trainees were part of the PNP Academy (PNPA) Maragtas Class of 2018 who graduated in March 2018. They are set to undergo training on internal security operations, counter-terrorism, water-borne rescue operations, police intervention, and communication.
Albayalde said the training will last for six months before they can all be deployed to test missions, and to actual missions if they pass it.
He said he has high hopes for the new batch of trainees and he expects the training they will undergo would equip them with enough skills and knowledge to respond to high level of security operations. Some passers, if not all, are expected to join the elite unit.
The PNP chief also welcomed the fact that the new batch of trainees include 99 female cops, which is considered the most since women were allowed to join in the elite force years after its establishment in 1983.
It was bared that at least 15,000 aspirants have applied to the SAF training course but only 3.3 percent (508) actually passed the initial training and requirements.
As for the successful passers, Albayalde wishes that all of them will finish the training as the authorized attrition rate for them is placed at six percent.
It can be recalled that when Albayalde assumed as the PNP chief in April 2018, he expressed desire for all new police recruits to undergo a standardized SAF training before they can be deployed to actual missions.
After the six months basic recruit course training at the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), another six months will be allotted for the “rigorous” Basic Internal Security Operations Course (BISOC) training of the new recruits at the SAF training school.
“We will develop their skills particularly their will to fight just like a SAF trooper,” said Albayalde, who was also a SAF commando, in an interview on April 20.
This, he said, will enable them to instill discipline to the newbie cops and forms part of their internal cleansing program to rid the ranks of police misfits and scalawags.
He made it clear that should recruits fail to pass at the SAF school, they will not be allowed to pursue their training at the PNP.
“If they will not qualify on that training, they will fail and remember they are not yet permanent. They are on a temporary status. However, I don’t see any reason why they won’t make it because it’s all just a question of attitude,” he said.