18 N. Samar cops awarded for defending post vs. NPA attack

MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Oscar Albayalde on Monday commended the 18 police officers of the Victoria Municipal Police Station (MPS) in Northern Samar who repulsed the attack of 50 communist rebels last week.

I conferred today (Monday) the prestigious award of Medalya ng Kadakilaan (PNP Heroism Medal) to 18 members of the Victoria, Municipal Police Station of Northern Samar led by Police Lt. Eladio G. Alo in recognition of their individual acts of courage and heroism against an overly superior number of enemy thus living up to the undying battle cry of the police service: 'Always outnumbered, but never outfought', Albayalde told reporters in a press briefing on Monday.

Awarded with Medalya ng Kadakilaan along with Alo are Chief Master Sergeants Aimee Lutze Cadiente and Marlon Ordonia; Senior Master Sgt. Arturo Gordo Jr.; Master Sgt. Arnold Cabacang; Staff Sergeants Ramil Ramosa, Raul Francisco Jr., and Brande Esquilon; Corporals Bryan Ed Penaflor, Jaykarl Laurio, Eddie Edwin Diaz, Tracy Silagan, and Jake Salesa; and Patrolmen Ronnel Goco, Marlon Estopagian, Errol Montopar, Geral Casyao, and Jhonar Cris Bernadas.

Aside from the Medalya ng Kadakilaan, Gordo and Cabacang will also receive Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting.

Albayalde said they will also get a promotion based on the deliberation and recommendation from the regional headquarters.

Aside from Northern Samar policemen, Albayalde also posthumously honored Patrolman Wilfredo Padawil of the 1502nd Maneuver Company of the 15th Regional Mobile Force Battalion of Cordillera who was killed in an encounter with communist rebels in Bauko, Mountain Province last March 29.

Meanwhile, the clash also left Cpl. Eirphil Lapniten wounded.

Initial investigation disclosed that elements of the 1502nd Mobile Company, Regional Mobile Force-15 were conducting patrol operations in Sitio Malabagan in Barangay Bangnen around 9:30 a.m. when they chanced upon the heavily-armed rebels.

The operation was part of the PNP's initiatives to seek an end to the decades-long fight of the national government against the NPA.

"There is no let-up in our offensive because President (Rodrigo) Duterte gave a directive for us to, once and for all, end the country's problem on insurgency," Albayalde said.

"By the time he steps down from office, he wants insurgency totally eradicated. That's what we're working on now," he added.

Albayalde expressed condolences to the family of Padawil, who was hit in the right portion of his neck. The bullet exited his left hip, suggesting that the enemies were on a higher ground.

The whole PNP forwards their condolences and we know that this police officer is a hero. He sacrificed his life for the freedom and for the people, Albayalde said, who is set to visit Padawil's family in Sagada, Mountain Province.

Albayalde went to the Benguet General Hospital to visit Lapniten last Saturday.

Lapniten received the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting from Albayalde.

Both families of Padawil and Lapniten are expected to receive financial assistance from the Office of the Chief PNP.

Albayalde said all due benefits for a cop who was killed (KIA) and wounded in action (WIA) will be given to the respective families of the two cops. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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