By J. Jala | 08:44 PM May 13, 2021
The leadership of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was officially turned over to Police Brig. Gen. Felipe Natividad, who replaced outgoing Police Maj. Gen. Bernabe Balba.
During the turnover ceremony at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig on Wednesday, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that he is confident Natividad will maintain the SAF’s dependable reputation.
“I am confident that under your leadership, the SAF will maintain its earned reputation of being the most dependable and highly-specialized force that aims to ensure peace and order across the country,” said Eleazar.
Natividad previously served as chief of the Calabarzon PNP after being appointed by former chief PNP Gen. Debold Sinas.
Under Natividad’s watch as director, the Calabarzon police came under fire after nine activists were killed in separate raids across the region in what is now known as the “Bloody Sunday.”
In 2016, he also served as director of the Bohol Provincial Police Office, which also came under probe by the Commission on Human Rights after suspected Abu Sayyaf Group member Saad Samad Kiram alias Abu Saad died after being arrested.
In 2018, he was moved to Camp Crame where he served as Special Police Assistant to the chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Meanwhile, outgoing SAF director Balba will become the new director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Visayas.