Inspector Alberto Ayad, Arteche police chief, and Police Officer 1 July Juliata were killed on the spot after they were shot in the head and in different parts of their bodies.
PO3 Glorioso Nebril died while being treated at a hospital in Tacloban on Sunday morning.
Ayad and his two policemen were on board their service vehicle to patrol the area about 9 p.m. when they were fired upon by armed men who were in the dark portion of Arteche Central Elementary School.
After 10 minutes, the alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) ran toward the back of the school and escaped into the mountain, said Municipal Councilor Roland Boey Evardone.
It was not known if the policemen were able to fire back during the ambush, which took place at the start of the election gun ban for the barangay (village) elections on Oct. 28.
“We are shocked by this attack. (And in) behalf of the municipal government, we express our deepest condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families of the slain policemen,” Evardone told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a phone interview.
Evardone said the municipal government would provide financial assistance to the families of the victims. The councilor’s father, Roland Evardone, is mayor of Arteche.
Ayad, who is from the neighboring town of Dolores, assumed his post as Arteche police chief only in August. Nebril and Juliata were from Arteche, more than 200 kilometers from the capital city of Borongan.
Eighteen police officers man the police station of Arteche, which has a population of more than 17,000 spread in 20 villages. Security forces in Eastern Visayas have reported the presence of communist rebels in Arteche.
Inspector Romuel Nacar, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police in Eastern Visayas, condemned the “treacherous” killings of the three policemen.