BANSALAN, Davao del Sur -- One of the four police officers killed in an ambush Wednesday in the remote village of Sibayan was laid to rest.
Police Officer (PO) 1 Saro Mangotara, a member of the Philippine National Police Scout Class 107-2016 “Himagsik,” was immediately buried after pre-ritual burials following the Muslim tradition and customs.
Mangotara, PO1 Joey Narvaza and PO1 Rolly Benelayo, all of Bansalan Municipal Police Station, and Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) investigator PO3 Jayden May Rabor were ambushed by about 20 armed men believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
They sustained multiple gunshot wounds on their heads and bodies, causing their instant death.
READ: 4 cops killed in rebel ambush in Davao del Sur
PO3 Allen Arnado of Soco-Digos City survived the attack and was rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
Reports said that the police team left for Sibayan around 6:30 a.m. on board a patrol car to investigate a crime incident that happened the night before. Sibayan is about 12 kilometers away from Bansalan town proper.
The route was initially cleared, prompting the police team to proceed to the area early morning. However, before reaching the crime site, armed men attacked the team.
"The NPA’s actions manifest their purpose to harass and take advantage to those people who are working and have real intentions of the serving the public," Police Regional Office-Davao Director Manuel Gaerlan said in a statement.
Lieutenant Colonel Harold Argamosa, 39th Infantry Battalion commander, said earlier that police and military units in Davao del Sur have been placed on heightened alert following the incident. (PNA/SunStar Philippines)