BAUKO, Mountain Province – The increasing number of applicants for enlistment with the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the different parts of the Cordillera will have a chance to be part of the country’s distinguished police force following the announcement made by newly-installed Police Regional Office – Cordillera (PRO-COR) regional director Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana that there are some 1,000 slots earmarked by the PNP specifically for qualified applicants from the region, especially the neglected areas.
Nana announced the good news for the increasing number of applicants for enlistment with the PNP during his visit to the wounded law enforcers who are still confined at the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital (LHMRH) aftern an ambush by the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Mount Sipitan, Aguid, Sagada town.
The police official said priority will be given to the qualified police applicants from the neglected areas in the region to help strengthen the government’s counter-insurgency campaign and to strengthen the presence of law enforcers in the countryside.
Nana was joined by Mountain Province Police Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Allen S. Ocden and other ranking regional and provincial officials and Mayor Abraham B. Akilit in distributing financial assistance from the government to the 5 of 9 wounded policemen who are still confined in the said hospital.
At the same time, Nana directed all police operating units regionwide to strengthen their intelligence gathering to thwart whatever threats that the insurgents pose to the prevailing peace and order in the region.
Earlier, a policeman died while nine of his colleagues were injured after members of the Mountain Province Provincial Police Mobile Force Company were ambushed by communist rebels belonging to the Leonardo Pacsi command of the New Peoples Army (NPA) within the vicinity of Mount Sipitan near the famous Buasao waterfalls at Aguid, Sagada town Tuesday.
Police authorities identified the lone fatality as Police Officer (PO) 2 Henry Dion of Bauko, Mountain Province while his injured colleagues were named as Superintendent Joseph B. Cayat, MPPMFC commanding officer, SPO1 Antolin A. Potpoten, SPO3 Wilfred W. Manacnis, Jr., PO2 Regie A. Palome, PO! Aldrin Bocalan, PO1 Xander M. Depnag, PO1 Jake B. Paat, PO1 Yasser L. Guzman and PO1 Clarence D. Abutan, all members of the MPPMFC operating troops.
The policemen were conducting routine patrol operations in the area when they were waylaid by the still undetermined number of heavily armed rebels who are allegedly based in the area.
Ocden confirmed that the rebels also suffered heavy casualties as a result of the encounter due to the bloodstains that were seen by pursuing government forces in their escape route but validations on the ground are still underway to ascertain the casualties in the enemy side.
Local and police officials vehemently condemned the ambush done by the rebels considering the desire of the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines to go back to the negotiating table to look into the possibility of achieving lasting peace in the country and put an end to the nearly 50-year old armed struggle that have claimed thousands of innocent lives through the years.