Cops in ambush get medals-A A +A
Saturday, February 2, 2013
THE cops, who met about 20 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Puso, La Castellana last Sunday received the PNP Heroism medals on Friday at the police provincial office in Camingawan, Bacolod City.
PNP Regional Director Agrimero Cruz awarded the Philippine National Police (PNP) Heroism medals to Jolemar Canja, widow of PO1 Richard Canja, and the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting to the two policemen who shot it out against the rebels during the an ambush which killed nine and wounded twelve persons in Barangay Puso, La Castellana last January 27.
“Don’t be like other policemen involved in other activities,” Cruz told PO3 Constantino Villegas and PO2 Jeffrey Alvarez who are still recuperating at the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Noppo) dispensary.
Canja, who was seated next to the truck’s driver, was among the first to fall together with the driver, Ricky Dingcong -- both were said to have been finished off by the suspected NPA rebels.
Villegas, who was seated next to Canja at the front seat, was able to jump off the truck and shoot it out with the NPA rebels, despite sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in various parts of his body.
Villegas said he was able to seek cover until the NPA rebels left the area.
Villegas confirmed to Cruz that the perpetuators are NPA rebels, because they shouted “Mabuhay ang NPA” and fired more shots before leaving the area laughing. “They seem to be drunk and high on drugs,” Villegas added.
Alvarez, for his part, said he was riding at the back of the truck with the civilians, including three minors who somehow provided him some cover until he has able to jump off the truck and position himself behind one of the truck tires.
He recalled he was able to fire back using all the bullets in one magazine of his M-16 Armalite rifle, however, when he loaded another magazine, his firearm jammed. It was then he said that he decided to ask for help, running despite a bullet wound in the right leg.
Cruz said that the bravery of the two is something that should be emulated by their colleagues in the PNP.
Aside from the medals, the two wounded policemen also received P10,000 check as assistance.
Meanwhile, Cruz said that the PNP will continue to provide security in fiestas as requested by the local government units (LGUs).
Cruz also said there should be more cops who will be deployed, adding they should be augmented by other peacekeeping forces, including the military.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 02, 2013.