Four policemen were ambushed and killed Thursday by suspected communist rebels, three years after the tragic ambush-slaying of six policemen and wounding of three others in Guihulngan city on July 21, 2017.
Thursday’s ambush-slaying was just three days before the third year anniversary of the Guihulngan ambush of six policemen including its chief of police.
As if to mark the infamous PNP tragedy, the four policemen were allegedly ambushed and killed Thursday by communist rebels in Sitio Ilaya, Yamot, Barangay Mabato, Ayungon, about six kilometers away from the PNP detachment in Sitio Nabingca of the same barangay.
The victims were in civilian clothes because they were on intel operations. They were on board three motorcycles – a white Smash, one Badja black, and an XRM red.
They were easy targets because they were riding in tandem in the narrow pathways in the mountains. A tipster could easily have spotted them and relayed the info via cellphone.
Initial reports disclosed they were fired upon while approaching the house of a certain Oto Anadon of Sitio Ilaya, Yamot, barangay Mabato, Ayungon.
Witnesses disclosed that after their bodies were riddled with bullets, the armed men slit the throat of one of the four and took their firearms.
The four policemen were identified as Police Corporal Wilbert Beronio, Patrolman Raffy Callao, Patrolman Rowel Cabillon and Patrolman Marciano de Leon who were assigned with the Regional Mobile Force Company headed by LT Col Grejaldo.
According to Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office provincial commander Police Colonel Raul Tacaca, the presence of the four policemen could have been monitored by the rebels in the area.
They were just about six kilometers from the detachment when they were overran, even if they were able to fire back.
Analysts also said that civilian tipsters and rebels’ surveillance tatics were apparent in tracking the law enforcers’ patrol route.
What was apparently lacking at that instance was the army’s counter –intelligence that could have avoided the incident.
Based on the physical appearance of the four policemen who were in civilian uniforms, their perpetrators made sure they were dead by cutting their throats with bladed weapons.
Three years ago today July 21, 2017, six Guihulngan-based policemen including their chief of police were killed when they were ambushed by communist rebels in Sitio Mandi-e, barangay Magsaysay Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental in the morning of July 21, 2017.
The encounter caused the life of Lt Col Arnel Arpon, the chief of police at that time and five others: Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Mecasio Tabilon, SPO2 Chavic Agosto, SPO1 Jesael Ancheta, PO2 Alvin Paul Bulandres, and PO2 Alfredo Dunque. Wounded were SPO4 Jerome Delara, PO3 Jordan Balderas and PO2 Jorie Maribao.