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N. Samar cops relieved after NPA raids police HQ

By MARTIN SADONGDONG

Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has ordered the relief of police officers in Northern Samar, including the entire personnel of Lapinig which was attacked by suspected New People’s Army members.

“Investigation went under way into the circumstances surrounding the raid staged by at least 100 communist NPA dissident terrorists on the town hall and police station at 2 a.m. Friday,” said Albayalde.

The PNP chief said the relief is part of their “one-strike” policy against any wrongdoing among their ranks.

The relief was based on the recommendation of the national oversight committee and will ensure an impartial probe on the incident. The investigation aims to determine whether or not there has been negligence on the part of the police officers, Albayalde explained.

An initial audit revealed that at least nine high-powered firearms, cash, mobile phones, and laptop computers containing intelligence information were taken by the suspects.

Insp. Noli Montebon, chief of the Lapinig Municipal Police Station, was ordered relieved along with his 20-man personnel. The sacked unit was replaced by members of the reserve unit of the Northern Samar police.

Also ordered relieved were Chief Insp. Juan Byron Leogo, commander of the 2nd Northern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company, and Senior Supt. Romeo Campomanes, director of the Northern Samar police.

Chief Supt. Mariel Magaway, Eastern Visayas Police Regional Office chief, was also removed from his post, pending the result of an investigation for command responsibility.

Magaway will be replaced by Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, the chief of the Aviation and Security Group, which will now be headed by Chief Supt. Joel Orduña, the deputy director for administration of Davao Police Regional Office.

The attack left two policemen injured. They were identified as PO1 Edison Aguirre and PO2 Gerry Quilicol.

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