6 policemen killed, 9 more hurt in Samar misencounter
Updated (10:00 p.m.)
Six policemen were killed and nine more were wounded in what was suspected as a misencounter with a band of soldiers in a hinterland village in Sta. Rita, Samar on Monday morning.
The policemen, all members of the 805th Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion with the rank of PO1, were in the area doing security patrol when they met ‘armed men’ who were later identified as members of the 87th Infantry Battalion based in Calbiga, also in Samar and led by 1st Lt.Orlando Casipit, Jr.
This encounter resulted in a 20 minute firefight.
Killed during the incident were PO1 Wyndell Noromor,PO1 Edwin Ebrado,PO1 Phil Rey Mendigo,PO1 Julius Suarez,PO1 Rowell Reyes and PO1Julie Escato.
Wounded were PO1 Elmer Pan, PO1 Cris Angelo Pialago, PO1 Romulo Cordero,PO1 Joenel Gonzaga,PO1 Rey Barbosa,PO1 Roden Goden, PO1 Jaime Galoy, PO1 Rommel Bagunas and PO1 Jonmark Adones.
The policemen were led by Chief Inspector Don Archie Suspeñe.
All wounded personnel were brought to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City for medical treatment.
The hospital management did not allow the members of the media to enter the hospital to interview the wounded policemen, who arrived at the hospital at past 1 p.m. and appeared to be not in critical condition.
Officials of the Philippine National Police in the region and the 8th Infantry Division which is based in Catbalogan City did not entertain media inquiries regarding the incident.
But Villareal Mayor Malou Latorre said she was informed by the police chief that the policemen had an encounter in Sta. Rita village and need a some ‘back up.’
Army’s 8th Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Raul Farnacio said a joint police and military investigation is underway to look into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“As we sincerely condole with the families of our brothers in the PNP (Philippine National Police), we assure the bereaved families that appropriate actions will be taken if there be any lapses committed in either sides,” he said. — with additional report from Frances Mangosing /je
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