GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 November) – Three police officers, one of them wounded, received the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) prestigious medal of valor or Medalya ng Kagitingan for promptly responding to recent gun-related incidents in the city that led to the killing of one of the suspects and the arrest of two others.
Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, Region 12 police director, said they conferred the medals of valor to Police Officer 1 (PO1) Mark Anthony Santillan, PO2 Peter Quinzon and another unnamed member of the city’s special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team “for showing courage and discipline” in the performance of their duties.
The police official personally pinned the medals on the three police officers in a simple ceremony on Wednesday afternoon in a private hospital here where the wounded PO1 Santillan was confined.
Santillan, who sustained a gunshot wound in his left thigh in an encounter with two armed motorcycle-riding men in Barangay Fatima on Saturday evening, also received the PNP wounded personnel medal or
Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting.
Santillan and Quinzon pursued and engaged the suspects in a shootout after the latter went past a police blockade in the area.
One of the suspects, who was identified as Rodel Silaya, was wounded during the encounter and eventually arrested.
The SWAT officer, whose face was covered during the awarding rites for security reasons, was cited for responding to the shooting of Senior Police Officer 1 Raul Capati at the junction of Mabuhay Road and the national highway here at past 5 p.m. last Tuesday.
The policeman, who happened to be driving a motorcycle near the area during the incident, immediately pursued the two motorcycle-riding suspects and engaged them in a shootout.
One of the suspects was later found dead near the Sinawal Bridge in Barangay Labangal here while the other was arrested in a follow-up operation on Wednesday dawn in a nearby housing subdivision.
Monteagudo said the accomplishments of the three police officers mainly show that Police Regional Office 12 personnel are well-trained and highly capable in terms of protecting the public from any
He said the three specifically displayed their competence in conducting police operations and in the handling of their firearms.
“As police officers, we have to be competent in handling our firearms by making sure that we would not endanger the public once we use them. If you note in the Capati incident, no bystander was hit during the shootout with the suspects,” he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)