Bicol lawmakers condemn gun attack on Albay cops
MANILA, Philippines — Two Bicol lawmakers — Albay Rep. Joey Salceda and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co — condemned on Monday the killing of two Albay police officers last July 9.
The officers — Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Ostonal, 43, and Cpl. Jeffrey Refereza, 35, both assigned in Oas town — were on mobile patrol in Barangay Ilaor Sur when two men on motorcycles fired at them, according to the Bicol Police Regional Office.
Salceda and Co said they had visited Otonal’s wake and gave the family assistance. They were accompanied by TV host Willie Revillame.
“We must end the senseless violence against our law enforcement officers. Let us stand united in condemning these acts and strengthen security measures to ensure their safety. We call for a thorough investigation and swift legal proceedings. Together, we can prevent future tragedies and protect those who protect us,” Co said.
“PCMS Ostonal dedicated his life to upholding peace and order in our community. His bravery and commitment to public service will never be forgotten. We must ensure that his family is taken care of, and we are committed to providing them with the necessary support they need. We aim to provide immediate assistance to the bereaved family and help alleviate some of their financial burdens,” he added.
“Our hearts go out to the family of PCMS Joseph Ostonal during this difficult time. He made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, and we stand with his family in their grief and sorrow. We want to assure them that they are not alone, and we are here to offer our support and assistance,” Co said.
“We are grateful to have the support and partnership of Cong. Joey Salceda and Mr. Willie Revillame in this endeavor. Together, we aim to provide immediate assistance to the bereaved family and help alleviate some of their financial burdens. It is important that we rally around them during this challenging time,” Co added.
Police follow-up operations in nearby Polangui town led to the arrest of Richard Bonaobra, 35; and Fernan Jardinel, 37, a former Philippine Army soldier.
Reports revealed that Jardinel had gone on absence without an official leave while assigned with the 65th Infantry Battalion of the 9th Infantry Division in Marawi City.
During the arrest, police seized from the suspects a .45-caliber pistol and the two motorcycles they used.