MANILA, Feb. 3, 2015 — With the entire country still reeling from the death of the police officers who are now known as SAF44, a pro-life group sets up a virtual prayer gathering for the slain Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Special Action Force (SAF) members by creating a prayer chain with one person committing to pray specifically for one officer.
“I thought about doing this for healing. We’ve all been very emotional about what happened to our SAF commandos and I thought we should channel those emotions to something more spiritual,” said Aimee Cruz, a member of Filipinos for Life, who initiated the prayer chain on Jan. 31.
Not just a statistic
So far, 44 pro-lifers have each committed to be a “prayer warrior” for one of the PNP-SAF members; they will then light a candle and pray for the commando assigned to them, take a photo with the name of the officer and post it in Filipinos for Life’s Facebook group.
“I wanted people to remember their names as well…so that they don’t remain just a statistic,” explained Cruz, who heard a Mass with her family for the intention of Senior Inspector Ryan Pabalinas last Sunday.
According to the management information systems analyst, once complete, the pictures from the 44 prayer warriors will be collated and published as “a sign of solidarity with the bereaved families.”
Coming to terms
Cruz said she prayed most especially for Pabalinas’ widow, Erica, who gave a speech in front of President Benigno Aquino III on Jan. 30 during the necrological service for the 44 fallen officers.
“I wanted the family [Pabalinas] left behind to come to terms with his untimely passing,” she said, adding that she prayed for the eternal repose of Pabalinas’ soul.
Forty-four members of the PNP-SAF were killed in a clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25 in what is said to be the biggest single day loss for the police force in recent memory. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz/CBCPNews)