Police general survives ambush in Bukidnon
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – A key police official survived an ambush on his convoy in a remote village in Talakag, Bukidnon, on Wednesday morning, January 29, but the attack left one of his men dead and 3 others hurt.
A spot report from Police Regional Office 10 said the attack of an "unidentified armed group" on the convoy of Police Brigadier General Joselito Salido, Deputy Director of the Philippine National Police Directorate of Integrated Police Operations-Eastern Mindanao, happened at 6:40 am on Wednesday in Barangay Tikalaan and Dominorog in Talakag.
"Police Brigadier General Salido and party are now safe," the report said.
PRO10 identified the fallen cop as Police Corporal Roel Sumaylo.
Those wounded were:
- Police Captain Ramil Gighe
- Police Senior Master Sergeant Giovanni Malinab
- Police Corporal Jerwin Genilla
The wounded cops were initially brought to the Talakag Provincial Hospital and later moved to the Cagayan de Oro City Polymedic Plaza Hospital.
Police said the highway leading to Barangay Tikalaan was placed on lockdown following the incident, and that there was a firefight in the area.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Silvestre Asiong Jr, Bukidnon police spokesperson, said Bukidnon police chief Colonel Roel Lamiing ordered the augmentation of police to secure the area. The 403rd Infantry Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division as well as the 1st Special Forces Battalion were sent as reinforcement to go after the attackers.
Asiong also said Salido was on his way to Don Carlos town to inspect and check the operational readiness of the 1st and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Companies there.
He said the convoy was supposed to go to Bukidnon via Barangay Puerto, Cagayan de Oro, but decided to divert to Talakag, to cut their travel time in going to Don Carlos.
"The dead and wounded were on board the lead car of Salido’s convoy," Asiong said.
Asiong said the group behind the ambush had yet to be identified but police suspected the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
In Manila, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac shared the same suspision, saying that investigators “initially suspect” the suspects were members of the NPA.
However, the suspects could also have been a mere “criminal group,” Banac added.
There were no known threats to Salido’s life, and the attack could have been a “surprise encounter,” the PNP spokesman said.
Police said the highway leading to Barangay Tikalaan was placed on lockdown following the incident, and that there was a firefight in the area. Banac said pursuit operations against the suspects were underway. – With a report from JC Gotinga/Rappler.com