PNP cries murder in NPA ambush in Cagayan
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines—Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento on Wednesday met with the survivors of a deadly communist rebel ambush here last Tuesday, which resulted in the killing of six rookie policemen.
The police team battled the communist New People’s Army rebels for five hours in the remote village of Baggao, with the support of soldiers from the Army’s 17th Infantry Battalion. Eleven other policemen were wounded.
They lost PO1 Ryan Annang, PO1 Derrel Sunico, PO1 Rogelio Alfonso, PO1 Julius Soriano, PO1 Jaypy Aspiros, and PO1 Arjay Bautista.
In a statement yesterday, the Philippine National Police accused the NPA of murder.
The Public Safety Battalion, led by Supt. Juan R. Aggasid, had gone to Barangay Sta. Margarita in Baggao to check reports about the torching of government equipment by communist rebels at the site of an irrigation project of the National Irrigation Administration.
Three kilometers before reaching the site, the responding policemen were hit by explosives fired from grenade launchers.
Killed were Police Officers 1 Ryan G. Annang, Derrel P. Sunico, Arjay A. Bautista, Rogelio C. Alfonso, Julius N. Soriano, and Jaypy P. Aspiros.
Wounded and airlifted to the Dr. Ronald P. Guzman Medical Center in Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City were Senior Insp. Arnel Acain, PO3 Jeremy F. Gacias, and Police Officers 1 Olier R. Cabildo, Elvis C. Madali, Edmar T. Mallilin, Jobert N. Ducusin, John Fritz G. Balunsat, Richmon E. Diesto, Kelvin E. Taguibao, Jae Mark S. Camarauan, and Mark Lester T. Layugan.
Reported as only “slightly injured” were Senior Insp. Clan Cabansi, PO2 Jaypol Melad and Police Officers 1 Estanislao S. Calayan and Mateo A. Ballad.
Sarmiento awarded the “Sugatang Magiting” medals to the families of the slain officers at the regional police chapel here. He also recommended their posthumous promotion. Sarmiento also visited the wounded at the regional hospital.
The Cagayan Valley police said they were filing a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) against the NPA’s Henry Abraham Command, which is believed to be behind the attack.
“The PNP condemns the murder of six policemen and the injuring of 15 others who were conducting an investigation on the burning of heavy equipment by the NPA in an ongoing project in Baggao, Cagayan,” said PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, reading from the statement.
“The NPA’s actions manifest their purpose to harass those who are working for the improvement of the standard of living of the people, contrary to the ideology being propagated by their group,” he said.
Villamor Visaya Jr. and Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon, with Jaymee T. Gamil in Manila