Duterte orders charges filed vs suspects in Negros Oriental police ambush

Ryan Macasero

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Duterte orders charges filed vs suspects in Negros Oriental police ambush
The police are currently looking for one person of interest and 11 other suspects allegedly involved in the ambush

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A day before the State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, July 21, met with Central Visayas regional police and instructed them to apprehend the suspects involved in an ambush that killed 4 police officers in Negros Oriental.

“[He said] the PRO (police regional office) should file a case against suspects who killed the PNP (Philippine National Police). That is the guidance of the President: arrest and neutralization, and give justice to 4 policemen,” Brigadier General Debold Sinas, the Central Visayas’ police director, told reporters on Monday, July 22.

The President also met with the families of the police officers killed. He gave slain officers Relebert Beronio, Raffy Callao, Roel Cabellon, and Marquino de Leon the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kalasag medals. 

While Sinas could not divulge any further details of the President’s conversation with the police, he said they discussed the person of interest named Victoriano Anadon, the individual the police officers were going to see when they were intercepted by 20 to 40 members of the New People’s Army. (READ: 4 Negros Oriental cops were set up for ambush, says regional police chief)

Pag adto nila didto nakalitan. Gikuyog diay sila. Gikulata, gitorture,” Sinas said. (When they arrived they were surprised that they had company. They were beat up and tortured.) 

According to police, each of the victims were shot in the head.

“That’s why, from the trail, going to the scene, there are 4 areas that were full of blood. From the street to the crime scene,” he added.

Sinas said the police are looking for 11 other suspects, but there were up to 40 possible other rebels involved in the ambush.

He said police had been advised not to go into NPA strongholds without proper backup, although anti-insurgency operations in the province will continue. – Rappler.com


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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com