COLLEAGUES and friends mourned the death of Superintendent Arnel Arpon, former police chief of Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental.
Arpon, 43, was killed while engaging in a firefight with members of New People’s Army in Sitio Masid-e, Barangay Magsaysay last Friday.
His remains lie in state at the family residence in Hinobaan, Negros Occidental, his wife’s hometown.
Five other policemen were killed while three others were wounded after their police vehicle was ambushed by rebels when they responded to Councilor Edison de la Rita’s call for assistance after he had an encounter also with rebels.
READ: 6 cops, civilian killed in Guihulngan City ambush
Superintendent Luisito Acebuche, head of Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO), expressed grief over the death of Arpon, who was his close friend and mentor.
Both Acebuche and Arpon hail from Northern Samar, and once stayed together at the officers’ quarters of Bacolod City Police Office.
When he was deployed in Negros Occidental, Acebuche said Arpon assigned him as officer of 601st Regional Mobile Group based in Manapla town.
Acebuche said Arpon also became his adviser during his stint as police chief of Sipalay City Police Station, where the late police official also served as station commander.
“He was humble and very dedicated to his work," the BTAO chief said, adding they would also coordinate in their anti-illegal drugs operations when Arpon was still chief of Bago City Police Station and he was head of Valladolid Municipal Police Station.
READ: Police chief, 6 others killed in NPA ambush
For the personnel of Bago City Police Station, Arpon was “very low profile,” but one of the best officers assigned in the station.
He served as police chief of Bago City from January 2014 to March 2015.
Senior Inspector Hercules Trigue, deputy chief of Bago police, said Arpon was described by the station personnel as hardworking.
For his part, Senior Superintendent Fred Trajeras, director of Bureau of Fire Protection-Negros Island Region, said he and Arpon were together during training in Cebu City for more than a year.
He had so much plans for his family, he was very family-oriented, Trajeras added.
Arpon’s other colleagues in the police service as well as friends expressed their sympathies to his family and relatives on social media.