Issue of April 7, 2019
Mt. Province

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PRO-COR honors slain and wounded cops in MP clash
by Harley F. Palangchao

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The policemen who were killed in action were posthumously awarded while the eight others who were wounded in two separate clashes with the New Peoples’ Army in Mountain Province were also conferred the wounded personnel medal last week.

Police B/Gen. Ephraim Dickson, director of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera, led the conferment of medals to the wounded personnel on April 3 at a hospital where the wounded soldiers are being treated.

Conferred the wounded personnel medals were Pat. Erwin Calixto, Police Corporals Marcelo Bayeng, Ramadick Meloy, Clifford Gama, Edwin Keya, John Calcaligong, and Terence Dulnuan along with S/Sgt. Salvador Agalatiw and M/Sgt. Alphedes Alvaro.

The heroism medal was posthumously conferred to Cpl. Marlon Casil, who died due to an improvised explosive device (IED), according to PRO-Cor. The same medal was also given to Pat. Wilfredo Padawil, who was killed in the first encounter between police forces and NPA rebels.

The remains of Casil were brought by his relatives to his residence in Kibungan, Benguet.

Aside from the medals, Dickson gave initial financial assistance to the wounded personnel to help defray their hospital expenses, and likewise to the family of Casil, while other benefits from the Philippine National Police and other agencies are being processed.

The death of Casil and wounding of nine others were due to an IED planted by the rebels while they were being pursued by government forces.

“The use of IED or landmines is forbidden under the International Humanitarian Law,” said Maj. Carol Lacuata, PRO-Cor information officer.

While hot pursuit against the rebels is ongoing in Mountain Province, Dickson has ordered all Cordillera police units and commands to be on alert and initiate security preparations to prevent any atrocity from the rebels.

Massive clearing and hot pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels are now being undertaken in all areas of Mountain Province and nearby provinces. 

Meanwhile, Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front, a regional front of the National Democratic Front, belied the claims of the police and military that the NPA has planted IED that killed one and wounded eight other cops.

“Only storytellers like the Armed Forces of the Philippines can come up with a fictional story like that. Comrade Magno Udyaw retorted that the IED that exploded was command detonated, which means that it was only detonated by the explosive operator upon command of the unit commander that the target combat troop of the enemy has entered the designated killing zone. Aside from that, there is no forest fire on that site at the time, and the Red fighters are not stupid to start a forest fire that can catch up with their maneuver,” reads the statement of CPDF chief Simeon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan.

The CPDF also said that they have been adhering to all international laws.

“The NPA has long adhered to the Ottawa Treaty through banning the use of landmines in its operations and has been employing command-detonated explosives instead. The AFP and the PNP further showed its ignorance as it does not know how to differentiate a command-detonated explosive from an unmanned landmine,” Naogsan added.

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