4 thumps challenge launched for ‘SAF 44’ | Inquirer News

4 thumps challenge launched for ‘SAF 44’

/ 04:12 AM February 10, 2015

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—Inspired by the “ice bucket challenge” that went viral last year, some members of the Philippine National Police started their version of an online fundraiser intended for the wounded and families of the slain Special Action Force (SAF) commandos involved in the Mamasapano clash.

The “challenge” is to wear the SAF pin, given during the training of the PNP’s elite unit, above the left breast and make four thumps on the chest.

Recorded on camera, the person then uploads his video on the “SAF 44” Facebook page and nominates four more people to do the same.


The thumps symbolize “our willingness to go through the same pain that the fallen SAF and their families suffer from,” Senior Insp. Eric Ortega said in a phone interview on Monday.


“It’s just our way of sympathizing and joining calls for justice,” he said.

Ortega, 30, assigned at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, started the campaign, which is almost similar to the ice bucket challenge, where individuals, among them celebrities and state officials, soak themselves in ice-cold water in an effort to raise awareness and funds for persons afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Ortega organized the challenge days after the Jan. 25 slaughter of 44 commandos in Maguindanao province. Three of the fatalities were Ortega’s classmates at the PNP Academy (PNPA) Class of 2009.

They were Senior Inspectors John Garry Erana, Gednat Tabdi and Max Jim Tria.

Ortega, who was president of PNPA Class of 2009, described the three as “simple and humble, yet true leaders.”

Erana was to be conferred the Lakan Distinguished Award at the annual PNPA alumni homecoming in March for his accomplishments in the service.


As of Monday, Ortega said around 1,000 officers had joined the challenge, among them Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz, deputy district director for operations of the Southern Police District and so far the highest ranking police “challenger.”

The Facebook page, however, only showed seven videos as of yesterday, The page, though, received 3,691 “likes” and the videos individually viewed over a hundred times, so far.

Those who take upon the “SAF 44” challenge are also encouraged to donate any amount for the bereaved families and the police survivors of the deadly clash.

Challenge Aquino, Purisima

Ortega, however, could not immediately give a figure of the current pooled donation, which they decided to place in a Landbank account under the name of the PNP Special Assistance Fund.

The videos drew comments from law enforcers and civilian netizens, several of whom suggested that President Aquino and resigned PNP Director General Alan Purisima do the challenge.

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“I hope (Aquino or Purisima) will, but it’s really up to them. Our main concern now is the families because they’re really the ones in pain,” Ortega said.


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