Issue of June 10, 2018
Mt. Province

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Skirmish taints Sagada’s declaration as peace zone
by Ofelia C. Empian

BAUKO, Mountain Province – The 12 policemen, including two officers, who were involved in the encounter against the New Peoples Army rebels at Mt. Sisipitan in Barangay Aguid, Sagada, Mountain Province on June 5 were honored for their heroic deed.

Police personnel led by Supt. Joseph Cayat were awarded the “Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting” (PNP Wounded Personnel Medal) by Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director C/Supt. Rolando Nana last week.

Also awarded with the same medal were wounded personnel S/Insp. Mariano Liban, PO3 Wilfred Manacnis, PO2 Regie Palome, and seven others with a rank of PO1 namely Aldrin Bocalan, Clarence Abuan, Antolin Potpoten, Xander Depnag, Jake Paat, Yasser Guzman, and Dennis Culbongan.

Nana handed over the medals and cash assistance to the wounded policemen who are recovering at the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital here with the exception of Liban and Culbongan whose assistance are still being processed. Liban and Culbongan, who were not included in the initial list of wounded personnel, were also recommended to receive the medal.

Also, Nana visited the wake of slain policeman, PO1 Henry Dion where he gave the posthumous “Medalya ng Kadakilaan” award to his family for leading the team during the operation.

Cayat, commanding officer of the Mountain Province Provincial Mobile Force Company, said they acted on an information that there are extortion activities in the area. When they arrived at a certain portion of Mt. Sisipitan, the rebels tagged by the government as terrorists began firing at them and Dion, as the lead man of one of the teams that scoured the area. He was the first to be shot. The gun battle, at close range, lasted for almost an hour.

“We have no cover in the area as it is a grassland. We were easily spotted,” he said.

He said it is the slain cop’s third encounter, as he always presents himself to be the lead man during operations.

Nana said they are now tailing the rebels and they received information that there are casualties on the side of the NPAs, which they are now verifying.

Sagada was declared a peace zone in 1989.

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