In the wake of a shootout that killed 2 cops

ORDER. PNP Chief, General Benjamin Acorda, Jr., issued an order to conduct manhunt operations and dismantle criminal groups in the region, particularly in Samar. The directive of Acorda came in the wake of the killing of three cops and the wounding of four others while serving warrants against members of the Ampoan Criminal Group in Sta. Margarita, Samar on Jan.27.

CALBAYOG CITY– Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, General Benjamin Acorda Jr., issued an order to continue on their manhunt operation against the perpetrators who killed three police officers and wounded four others while they were serving arrest warrants to members of a criminal group in Sta. Margarita, Samar on Tuesday (Jan. 31).

Acorda made the order during his visit to Calbayog City where he paid his respects to the slain officers and visited the wounded in the hospital.

“I am ordering the PRO-8(Philippine National Police Region Eight) to run after them and conduct an operation against them,” he said during a brief interview with the members of the local media.

Acorda also recognized the gallantry of the police personnel saying they were willing to sacrifice their own lives to ensure peace in the community.

“I appreciate their efforts and sacrifices and no amount of money will equate…and to lose one’s life,” he said.

And in his speech before the local police, led by PNP Regional Director B/Gen. Reynaldo Pawid, Acorda said that if there are politicians who are protecting the involved suspects, said to belong to the Ampoan Group, and other criminal groups in the province, they too should not be spared.

“Hahabulin natin sino man ang nagproprotektang pulitiko at matataas na tao. Wala tayong patatawarin diyan. Kung may nag-aalagang pulitiko (sa criminal group), I don’t care. I will be at your back,” he said during his meeting with the local police held at the Calbayog Sports Center.

“If there are people na kailangan i-search warrant natin, kailangang arestuhin sinuman ang naka-protekta diyan, habulin natin. If you want, ako mismo ang magprotekta sa inyo…,” Acorda said.

Acorda said that by also arresting those behind the group, their criminal activities could also come to an end.

“Alam naman nating mga patayan dito. Maraming mga gun-for-hire. So I am challenging you wala kayong sisinusinuhin diyan,” the PNP chief said.

He described the Ampoan Group as a ‘notorious criminal group’ that needs to be arrested and stopped from their illegal activities like gun-for-hire and assassination operations.

To recall, the police were in Barangay Mahayag, a remote village 15 kms away from the town proper of Sta. Margarita, to serve warrants against Edito Ampoan, leader of the Ampoan Group, and his members Jojo Altarejos, Rogelio Macurol last Tuesday.

However, the police officers were caught by surprise as the subject of the operations fired back, aided by their other members who were also in the area.

The shootout resulted in the death of Staff Sergeant Christian Tallo; Corporal Eliazar Estrelles Jr.; and Master Sgt. Paul Terence Paclibar, members of the 1st Samar Police Mobile Force and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion.

Wounded were Cpl. Rannel Pedamato; Cpl. Mark Jason Sixta; and Patrolmen Ham Kritnere Capalis and Mark Redoblado.

The Ampoan Group was described by the police as a criminal group operating in Sta. Margarita and nearby towns.

Ampoan, Altarejos, and Macurol were subjects of arrest warrants for their alleged involvement in the killing of barangay chair Tiburcio Ocong of Bislig, Gandara town, also in Samar, on October 23, 2015.

The slain officers were given ‘Medalya ng Kadakilaan’ while the wounded received ‘Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting.’

PNP Regional Director Pawid also provided financial assistance to the killed police in the amount of P250,000 while the wounded each received P50,000.

All seven police officers are also set to receive special financial assistance from the PNP.