The Joseph G. Sagonoy Hall at the University of Eastern Philippines
The Joseph G. Sagonoy Hall at the University of Eastern Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY- The name of PO1 Joseph Sagonoy, one of the 44 commandos of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police, will forever be remembered at least in his native province of Northern Samar.

This after the management of the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) in Catarman town named a school building after the 26 year old SAF member.

The university’s board of regent approved the recommendation of de Asis last March of this year.

Sagonoy was from the town of Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar and who was among the 44 SAF commandos who died in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, this year.

The incident so shocked the entire country that triggered several investigations and putting the peace agreement between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front(MILF) into doubt.

“We are of course surprised. But this is very much welcome by our family as the school honored him. At least, with his name named after one of their (school) buildings, he will forever be remembered,” Rogelio Sagonoy, uncle of the slain SAF commando, said in a phone interview.

The two-storey criminology building of the UEP was named after Sagonoy upon the suggestion of university president, Mar de Asis.

The late PO1 Joseph G. Sagonoy.file photo.
The late PO1 Joseph G. Sagonoy.file photo.

The building, consisting of 14 classrooms, is now known as Joseph G. Sagonoy Hall.

de Asis, however, said that they have yet to formally inaugurate the building as some finishing touches on the building is still ongoing. The building was first constructed last year.

Sagonoy finished his criminology at the UEP in 2010.
“He was once our student. In fact, his batch was the first one to graduate when UEP first offered criminology,” de Asis said.

“We were both shocked and sad when he died especially when we saw in the video how he was brutally killed,” he added, referring to an uploaded video that went viral showing Sagonoy being shot at close range though he was still alive.

The UEP, located in Catarman, is one the biggest government-run colleges in Eastern Visayas with more than 16,000 student population.

At present, there are more than 700 students taking up criminology.

Aside from Sagonoy, five other SAF members who were from the region died in the now infamous “Mamasapano encounter,” namely, PO2 Noel Balaca of Oras, Eastern Samar; PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla of Sulat, Eastern Samar; PO2 Rodel Racamula of Rosario, Northern Samar;PO1 Marky Lorenzo Clemencio of Carigara, Leyte and PO2 Glenn Bedua of Dulag, Leyte.