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Cop killed in Davao del Sur ambush laid to rest

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BANSALAN, Davao del Sur (PNA) – One of the four police officers killed in an ambush in the remote Barangay Sibayan Wednesday morning was laid to rest.

PO1 Saro Mangotara, a member of the PNP Scout Class 107-2016 “Himagsik,” was immediately buried after pre-ritual burials following the Muslim tradition and customs.

Mangotara, along with PO1 Joey Narvaza and PO1 Rolly Benelayo, all of the Bansalan Municipal Police Station and Scene of the Crime Operation female investigator PO3 Jayden May Rabor, were ambushed by about 20 armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army.

They sustained multiple bullet wounds on their heads and bodies, causing their instant death.

PO3 Allen Arnado, another female SOCO-Digos City prober, survived the attack by jumping off their vehicle and landing in a deep canal.

Based on the report, the police team left at around 6:30 a.m. on board a patrol car for Sibayan, which is about 12 kilometers from Bansalan town proper to investigate a reported crime incident the night before.

A murder case was relayed to the police by Sibayan Barangay Captain Eddie Dicdican.

The route was initially cleared, prompting the police team to proceed to the area early morning. However, before reaching the crime site, armed men attacked the team.

”The NPA’s actions manifest their purpose to harass and take advantage to those people who are working and have real intentions of serving the public,” Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, Police Regional Office 11 director, said in a statement.

Gaerlan said the NPA has become bandits contrary to the ideologies being propagated by their group.

Gaerlan said the PNP personnel in Bansalan, Davao del Sur were only responding to an incident together with the SOCO team to assist in the conduct of an investigation.

In Manila, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno yesterday ordered an investigation of the ambush.

“I have clear instructions to our Chief PNP to respond accordingly and deliver swift action against the suspects who are allegedly members of a lawless armed group. Our police force will get into the bottom of this case,” Sueno said.

Sueno reminded policemen to never put their guards down especially when they are deployed outside of their stations to pursue criminals.

The policemen aboard a marked vehicle were on their way to investigate a murder incident in Barangay Sibayan when they were peppered with bullets. (with reports from Francis T. Wakefield and Chito A. Chavez)