Wounded cops to get cash, citation

LAW enforcers who were wounded in action while fighting the Maoist guerrillas suspected to be responsible in the burning of seven cargo vehicles in Barangay Palacapao, Quezon, Bukidnon on Sunday will receive not only recognition but also cash incentives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) central office, the regional police office said.

The wounded police officers will receive P20,000 for sustaining minor injuries and P50,000 for major injuries following the PNP circular 2007 002 or the Institutionalization of Special Financial Assistance (SFA) from the President’s Social Fund (PSF), said the PNP 10 in a statement e-mailed to this paper.

The Regional Comptroller Division (RCD) of the Police Regional Office (PRO 10) also released P50,000 for initial hospitalization expenses while waiting for the reimbursement of hospitalization bills, it said.

PNP 10 added the Public Safety Mutual Benefit Fund Incorporated (PSMBFI) “will give P10,000 as initial insurance for those wounded in action personnel and additional compensation will be given depending on the severity of injuries sustained as shown in the medical certificate submitted to their office.”

“The wounded personnel of 103rd company shall be awarded with ‘Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting’ in recognition to their gallantry and courageous stand against the armed band and the team leader shall be given an appropriate award after leading his team to safer location with a good fight against the enemy,” it furthered.

Inspection on all regional police stations

Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., PNP-Northern Mindanao director, in the same statement, has instructed the Regional Directorial Staff to conduct inspection on the provincial and city police offices within its area of responsibility “to check their operational readiness and reminded the personnel to be cautious at all times.”

It can be recalled that a team of the Regional Public Safety Battalion’s 103rd company responded to a call that scores of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) put up a checkpoint along the Bukidnon highway in Zone 7, Palacapao in Quezon town and flagged down heavy trucks, took some food items from one of the trucks and burned all the cargo vehicles, then fled the site on foot, said Inspector Jiselle Longakit, information officer of the Bukidnon provincial police office.

En route to where the NPAs were positioned in Palacapao, the vehicle of the responding police officers was hit by an improvised explosive device, and then they were waylaid by a group of insurgents who were lying on the ground waiting for them.

A firefight ensued which yielded to wounding seven of the RPSB members who later got away from the skirmish.

NPA killed

In a related update, an NPA combatant was killed and firearms were recovered following two separate encounters in the hinterland area of Quezon early Tuesday morning, the military said yesterday.

According to the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID), troops from the 10th Scout Ranger Company exchanged fire with the Maoist rebels at Sitio Kipolot, Palacapao for half an hour.

Soldiers from the 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company also engaged in a firefight with a handful of armed guerrillas.

The 4ID said the clashes were part of the ongoing pursuit operations conducted by the 403rd Infantry Brigade after the burning of the trucks.

Colonel Jesse Alvarez, 403IB commanding officer, said “we will continue our pursuit operations until the NPAs can no longer pose a threat to our communities and the public traveling toward Bukidnon to Davao and vice versa.”

“The NPAs have felt the force of the law. We will continue to serve justice to the victims and make the NPAs realize that no one is above the law and those who violate it will be punished. I call on everybody to condemn this burning incident as pure act of terrorism,” said Major General Oscar Lactao, 4ID commander, in the same statement.
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