Albayalde condoles with family of cop slain in clash with NPA
BENGUET, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde on Saturday sent his condolences to the family of the police officer killed in an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay (village) Bagnen Proper in Bauko, Mountain Province.
Patrolman Wilfredo Bongotan Padawil was dead on arrival at the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital shortly after the 1502nd Mobile Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion-15 encountered around 20 NPA rebels on Friday.
“Buong kapulisan ay pinapaabot po ang pakikiramay at alam po namin na isang bayani itong pulis na ito. Binuwis ang kanyang buhay para sa kalayaan at para sa taongbayan,” Albayalde told reporters during his visit at the Philippine Military Academy here.
(The entire police force is sending our condolences and we know that this policeman is a hero. He put his life on the line for freedom and for our nation.)
The attack was initiated by government forces, but Albayalde said the police personnel were caught in what he called a “surprise meeting engagement.”
“Naunahan ng putok siguro ‘yung ating kapulisan na nagpapapatrolya or nagko-conduct ng police operation,” he said. “Tinatawag na nagkabulagaan.”
(Probably, our policemen were caught by surprise on the first shot. They were conducting patrol and police operation.)
Albayalde said he will also visit the relatives of the slain policeman in the municipality of Sagada to personally send his condolences.
Albayalde also visited on Saturday at the Benguet General Hospital another police officer identified as Corporal Eirphil Lapniten, who was also wounded during the same encounter.
Albayalde said the PNP cannot confirm yet if there was any casualty from the enemy side. He said the police have launched a follow-up operation to catch the rebels. The Philippine Army has also provided reinforcement to the said unit. /jpv
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