TACLOBAN CITY- Police Director General Oscar Albayalde said that he had issued an order to temporarily suspend the anti-insurgency operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the wake of an incident in Samar province which killed six policemen and wounded nine others.
Albayalde disclosed this in an interview at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), this city, Tuesday night after he personally pinned the ‘Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting’ to the wounded policemen, all members of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB).
The police director general, however, was quick to say that the anti-insurgency operations of the PNP will resume once whatever the ‘flaws’ committed during the June 25 incident have been corrected.
“Ang inaano natin, we’ll just correct kung anong nangyari na di tama. That’s why suspended sandali lamang.After that suspension, pagnakita na natin, we correct on this flaw or yung pagkukulang, then we will operate again,” Albayalde said.
About 33 members of the RMFB engaged in a firefight with the 16 soldiers belonging to the 87th Infantry Battalion in sitio Layug, Barangay San Roque in Sta. Rita, Samar at about 9:20 am Monday(June 25).
Both government forces where in the area as part of their insurgency operations. Pocket of Samar province remains to have insurgency problem.
The misencounter resulted in the death of six policemen and wounded nine others. No casualty or injury was reported among the soldiers headed by 1st Lt. Orlando Casipit, Jr.
All involved soldiers were placed under restriction at their headquarters in Calbiga, Samar as investigation is being conducted to determine the real circumstance of the incidence.
Albayalde had formed a board of inquiry tasked to conduct a probe on this incident. The regional PNP as well as the 8th Infantry Division, headed by Major General Raul Farnacio, have also created their respective investigating teams.
He also assured that the incident would not affect the relationship between the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines saying both sides would not like to see this thing to happen.
“Of course not. It will not kaya nga mayroon tayong board of inquiry para makita kung ano ba ang pagkukulang namin or probably pati ng Armed force of the Philippines para di na maulit ang pag-patay na ito,” he said.
Albayalde said that he want to have results of the investigation as soon as possible to ensure that justice would be given, especially those who died due to the incident.
Killed during the incident were PO1 Wyndell Noromor, PO1 Edwin Ebrado, PO1 Phil Rey Mendigo, PO1 Julius Suarez, PO1 Rowell Reyes and PO1 Julie Escalo.
Wounded were PO1 Elmer Pan, PO1 Cris Angelo Pialago, PO1 Romulo Cordero, PO1 Joenel Gonzaga, PO1 Rey Barbosa, PO1 Roden Goden, PO1 Jaime Galoy, PO1 Rommel Bagunas and PO1 Jomark Adones.
Families of the slain policemen received financial assistance from Albayalde while the wounded ones received medical assistance, among others.
He also ordered that the national flag be hoisted half-mast in the PNP stations to show their mourning.