FIVE personnel of Cauayan Municipal Police Station in Negros Occidental who survived the ambush incident staged by suspected New People's Army (NPA) last October 3 will be awarded by the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas.
Chief Superintendent Cesar Binag, director of PRO-Western Visayas, said he was informed that the policemen provided immediate action to the call for assistance.
“I was happy that they survived the attack but we also felt sad when two foreigners and their Filipino driver were injured after they were caught in the crossfire,” Binag said.
On Tuesday afternoon, about 30 armed men ambushed the patrol car boarded by five policemen at Sitio Buta, Barangay Caliling that resulted to the injuries of Karl Christer Arvidsson, a Brazilian national, and Juliana Palmero, a Swedish national, and Jason Tumayao, the Filipino driver.
READ: 2 foreigners, 1 Filipino hurt in Negros Occidental clash
Unharmed policemen were Senior Police Officer 1 Jeorge Anthony Lorenton, Police Officer 3 Turk Libo-on, Police Officer 2 Thom Amable Mamigo, Police Officers 1 John Mabayag and Sunny Boy Llena after they were able to jump from their vehicle and took cover.
The town policemen were responding to a report of attempted robbery hold-up in a resort owned by a foreigner at Barangay Linaon before proceeding to serve an arrest warrant in Sipalay when rebels fired at the patrol car while it was overtaking the vehicle of the tourists.
Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, head of Directorate for Operations of Philippine National Police, reminded the police to coordinate with the community to know their borders and identify their enemies.
“We forget that we can validate reports first through barangay officials and the residents before responding to any call for police assistance especially if the area is identified as an area of concern,” he added.
Cascolan said that policemen should always think that there is always an enemy waiting for them, adding that their life in the field is a matter of survival.