NEGROS ORIENTAL, Philippines (UPDATED) – Four policemen here were killed after they were ambushed by armed men at Barangay Mabato in Ayungon town on Thursday afternoon, July 18.
Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, director of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) based in Cebu City, identified the fatalities as the following:
- Corporal Relebert Beronio
- Patrolman Raffy Callao
- Patrolman Ruel Cabellon
- Patrolman Marquino de Leon
They were intelligence personnel of the 704 Mobile Force Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion in Central Visayas.
Based on the initial report by Major Leo Logronio of Regional Mobile Battalion Force Region VII, the 4 policemen were on board two motorcycles when they were waylaid and fired upon by an undetermined number of suspects.
The report said the 4 policemen succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds which caused their instant deaths.
Sinas said the policemen were verifying the reported presence of the New People’s Army in the area when they were attacked by the rebels. He also said they were on their way to meet their contact at Sitio Yamut when the incident occurred.
Their bodies were only recovered 5 hours later, at 7:30 pm, due to the presence of the rebels in the area, who were believed to be in an ambush position, he said.
The 4 issued firearms of the policemen were carted away by the NPA, while the 2 motorcycles were nowhere in sight, he added.
The suspected rebels were last seen in the forested area of Barangay Mabato in Ayungon.
Five days before the ambush, on July 13, army troopers clashed with the suspected rebels at the boundary of Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental and Ayungon town in Negros Oriental. This led to the death of an alleged squad leader of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda platoon, Central Negros Front.
In 2017, Superintendent Arnel Arpon, former chief of Guihulngan City Police Station, was killed along with 4 other colleagues after being ambushed by suspected NPA members in Barangay Magsaysay in Guihulngan City. The policemen responded to a call for assistance from Councilor Edison de la Rita, who was also killed by the rebels at Barangay Poblacion in 2018. – Rappler.com