Thursday August 16, 2018

Deeper probe into Abuyog ambush set

Photo screenshot from the video of the attack that went viral on social media.

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is digging deeper into the ambush in Abuyog, Leyte on Monday, August 6, that killed three Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) personnel and seriously wounded the former chief of the Leyte Regional Prison.

The former prison head, Senior Superintendent Geraldo Aro, 55, suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the ambush in Cadac-an village, Abuyog, around noon Monday, just a few hours after the turnover of command ceremony at the prison facility.

READ: Outgoing Leyte prison chief survives attack

PNP Leyte spokesperson Superintendent Alberto Renomeron Jr. said the victims were headed to Tacloban airport on board the BuCor service vehicle when they noticed two vans tailing them. One of the vans blocked them and the unidentified gunmen fired at their vehicle.

Killed on the spot were Leyte Regional Prison executive secretary Jelanie Almario, Corrections Officer 3 (CO 3) Nelson Padagdag, and CO 1 Randy Pantano.

CO 1 Uldarico Mortiso also survived the ambush that took place 15 kilometers from the colony. Aro is being treated in an undisclosed hospital in Tacloban City.

“The police [are] looking into various angles on the motive of ambush, but we cannot give further comments since in-depth investigation is still ongoing,” Aro said.

The incident occurred after Aro formally turned over the post to Superintendent Danilo Dador Monday morning on orders of Bucor Director Ronald de la Rosa.

Aro, who has been assigned as Leyte regional colony head since 2013, was supposed to take the post as head of the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental.

Established on January 16, 1973, the Leyte Regional Prison is situated 66 kilometers from Tacloban City, the regional capital. The colony is within an 861.66-hectare forested area, 20 kilometers south from Abuyog town center.

At present, the facility has more than 1,900 inmates, more than double than its capacity. The penal colony was built to confine and rehabilitate convicted criminals classified as national prisoners whose sentences range from three years imprisonment or above. (PNA)