1,000 berths open for cops in Cordillera
Bauko, Mountain Province—The Philippine National Police has earmarked 1,000 slots for qualified applicants in the Cordillera who want to serve in the Police Regional Office here, new regional director Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana said.
Nana announced this during his visit to the wounded law enforcers confined at the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital after an ambush by the New People’s Army in Mount Sipitan, Aguid, Sagada.
Priority will be given to the qualified police applicants from the neglected areas in the region to help strengthen the government’s counter-insurgency campaign and to strengthen the presence of law enforcers in the countryside, he said.
Nana was joined by Mountain Province Police Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Allen S. Ocden, other ranking regional and provincial police officials, and Mayor Abraham B. Akilit in distributing financial assistance from the government to five of the nine wounded policemen who are still confined in the hospital.
At the same time, Nana directed all police units regionwide to strengthen their intelligence gathering to thwart threats the insurgents pose to the prevailing peace and order in the region.
Earlier, a policeman died while nine of his colleagues were injured after members of the Mountain Province Provincial Police Mobile Force Company were ambushed Tuesday by communist rebels under the NPA’s Leonardo Pacsi command near Mount Sipitan and the famous Buasao waterfalls at Aguid, Sagada town.
Authorities identified the fatality as Police Officer 2 Henry Dion of Bauko, Mountain Province. Injured were Superintendent Joseph B. Cayat, MPPMFC commanding officer; SPO1 Antolin A. Potpoten, SPO3 Wilfred W. Manacnis, Jr., PO2 Regie A. Palome, PO1 Aldrin Bocalan, PO1 Xander M. Depnag, PO1 Jake B. Paat, PO1 Yasser L. Guzman, and PO1 Clarence D. Abutan, all members of the MPPMFC.
The policemen were on routine patrol in the area when they were waylaid by an undetermined number of heavily armed rebels allegedly based in the area.
Ocden confirmed the rebels also suffered heavy casualties due to the bloodstains that were seen by pursuing government forces in their escape route. Validations on the ground are still underway to ascertain the enemy casualties, he added.
Local officials condemned the ambush done by the rebels, considering the desire of the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines to go back to the negotiating table and achieve lasting peace in the country.