BANSALAN, Davao del Sur, 10 March (PIA) – President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday paid a visit to the wake of two of the four Police officers who were killed in an ambush by suspected members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) Wednesday (March 8) at Barangay Sibayan, this municipality.
The President condoled with the bereaved families including the immediate families of the other two victims as he handed over the Posthumous Medal (Medalya ng Kagalingan) to each of the respective surviving families.
The wake of PO1 Rholly E. Benelayo of Bansalan Municipal Police Station and Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) investigator PO3 Jeden Mie D. Rabor were held at the lobby of the Municipal Hall of Bansalan when President Duterte visited.
The other Killed-in-Police-Operation (KIPO) officers were PO1 Saro Mangotara, a Muslim and a member of the Philippine National Police Scout Class 107-2016 “Himagsik,” and PO1 Joey Narvaza. Both were personnel of Bansalan Municipal Police Station.
The remains of Mangotara were immediately laid to rest on March 8 in accordance to Muslim tradition, while Narvaza’s were brought to Kidapawan City.
The Medalya ng Kagalingan, a PNP merit medal, was awarded for the victims’ “acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry in action rendered to the PNP while responding in the report of shooting incident at Brgy. Sibayan, Bansalan.”
The responding team was ambushed around 7:30am on March 8 by undetermined number of lawless armed group believed to be NPA members from Front Committee 51 that caused the Police officers’ instantaneous death, and injured lone survivor PO3 Allen Arnado.
“I’m sorry that this gory incident had to happen,” Pres. Duterte said when asked of his statement in an interview with the media during his wake visit in Bansalan.
Pres. Duterte said that peace talks with the communist rebels is “totally absent.”
“In the meantime, I would just ask the Armed Forces and the Police go ahead, wage a war against them. Anything goes. I will allow the military and the Police this time to use all available assets.”
Meanwhile, Davao del Sur provincial chief PSupt. Samuel Gandingan and Governor Douglas Cagas have condemned the ambush incident.
The local government units of Davao del Sur and Bansalan have provided financial support to the bereaved families. (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)