By NITZ ARANCON
CAMP Alagar has decried the attack staged by at least four communist rebels that resulted in the killing of a police officer and wounding of another in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, on Monday night.
It was “cold-blooded murder,” said police director for northern Mindanao Chief Supt. Timoteo Pacleb.
“Treacherous” was how Camp Alagar spokesman Supt. Surki Sereñas described the attack staged at around 9:35 pm Monday in Barangay Sumpong.
Police said the New People’s Army (NPA) killed PO3 Jerry Tropel and hurt his companion, P01 Rene Caña.
Caña was rushed to the Polymedic Hospital in Malaybalay.
Sereñas said the officers, both members of the Malaybalay City Police Office, were on patrol when they were attacked by the guerrillas who were armed with M1 rifles and caliber .45 pistols.
He said the policemen were merely doing their work to keep the village peaceful and orderly. They went out on patrol because of the frequent street crimes taking place in the village.
Senior Inspector Jiselle Longakit, spokesperson of the Bukidnon police, said, “Nagbaklay lang ang upat ka mga suspect ug ilang gilabyan ang atong mga police ug ilang gipusil.”
Longakit said the gunmen fled on motorcycles after the attack.
Senior Supt. Benedicto Pintor, police director for Bukidnon, said authorities were leaving no stone unturned in the ongoing investigation.
Pintor said the police have taken note that the NPA has owned responsibility for the attack.
“The investigation has been narrowed down to a number of ‘persons of interest.’ The NPA has already owned up. There will still be an investigation to identify the assailants so charges can be filed against them,” said Pintor.
Chief Supt. Pacleb said investigators were exerting efforts to bring the culprits to justice.
“Justice will be served to the bereaved family,” vowed Pacleb.
Pacleb said the police officers were not in the area to engage NPA but for crime prevention and emergency response.
He called on the NPA to explain and justify the attack, adding that it was a violation of the International Humanitarian Law.
“The intent of the attack is clear,” Pacleb said. “It was meant to create panic and intimidate the public. Clearly, the people of Malabalay, Bukidnon do not want this terroristic act in their city.” (with reports from PNA)