Cascolan wants SAF to specialize in seaborne operations

Published October 25, 2020, 4:13 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Elite police commandos from the Special Action Force (SAF) should specialize in seaborne operations due to the country’s geographical features, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan said.

Police Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascola

Since the Philippines is surrounded by water and composed of more than 7,000 islands, Cascolan said it is important for seaborne training programs to expand to include all the members of SAF, the most elite strike force of the PNP.

“SAF will be specialized in such a way that we will be training more of seaborne operations. This is part of further improving their operational capability,” said Cascolan.

SAF is the well-trained and well-equipped unit of the PNP. SAF commandos are involved in anti-insurgency, anti-terrorism, and big anti-crime operations.

Currently, seaborne-trained SAF are deployed in western parts of Mindanao, especially in Zamboanga, which serves as a staging area for operations against the Abu Sayyaf and other terror groups in Basilan and Sulu.

“If we have seaborne [operations] in Mindanao, we dream that there are also seaborne troops in the Visayas and the northern tip of Luzon,” said Cascolan.

Cascolan said that once the training programs are done and necessary equipment are secured for the SAF, the plan is to make their presence felt in all areas with insurgency and terrorism problems.

President Duterte has allowed the recruitment of more SAF commandos to assist the military in defeating the communist insurgents and local terror groups.