One police officer was killed and three others were wounded in an ambush allegedly perpetrated by members of the New People’s Army Tikalaan-Dominorog, Talakag in Bukidnon at 6:45 a.m. yesterday.
Maj. Eudisan Gultiano, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, identified the fatality as Cpl. Roel Sumaylo and his companions as Capt. Ramil Gighe, Sr/Msgt. Giovanni Malinab; and Cpl. Jerwin Genilla.
Gultiano said Brig Gen. Joselito Salido, deputy director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) Eastern Mindanao was with them.
“Brig. Gen. Salido was safely extricated from the ambush area,” she said during the AFP-PNP press briefing held at Royal Mandaya hotel yesterday.
According to the report, a team of 2nd Platoon, 1st Bukidnon Provincial Mobile Force Company Security Escort, led by Gighe was ambushed while traveling along the Tikalaan-Dominorog, Talakag road. It was the same area where members of the Bumbaran Municipal Police Station were ambushed a few years ago.
Around 8 a.m., two out of three convoy vehicles escaped the ambush site and linked up with Alpha Company of the 65th Infantry Battalion. One PNP vehicle with an undetermined number of passengers was left at the scene.
In a message, Brig. Gen. Edgardo de Leon, the commander of 403rd Infantry Brigade, said they (police) gave a fight.
“We dispatched Air Force Hueys to reinforce them. A platoon of 65IB and Special Forces were also sent to pursue the perpetrators,” he said.
The wounded policemen were brought to the hospital by the Talakag Municipal Ambulance.
“We suspect it was done by the NPA of the Sub-Regional Command 4,” he added. “It happened near the place where the NPA ambushed and killed a baby in 2017.”
He described that the area has no cellphone signal.
“The ambush has a significant impact on the image of Talakag, Bukidnon,” He said.
De Leon said the new road should have provided a brighter socio-economic future for the farmers of the town as they already sell their produce along the highway.
“The rising volume of vehicles plying the route has increased their income. But because of the ambush, motorists are again discouraged and scared away. The farmers are the ones who would suffer in the long term,” he added.
“That’s why the people there are rejecting the atrocities of the NPAs. They declare NPA as persona non grata,” he further said.