3 killed in ambush of police teams en route to probe earlier ambush in Malaybalay village

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/06 March)  – Two  police officers and a civilian worker were killed and five other police officers were injured in an ambush at around 10 a.m. Sunday while they were on their way to investigate an  ambush-killing of a former barangay captain two hours earlier, Police Supt. Erwin Bayani Meneses, Malaybalay police chief, said.

Meneses blamed the New People’s Army (NPA) for the ambush on the teams of  the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) of the Philippine National Police (PNPC) in Bukidnon and the Malaybalay City Police Station (MCPS) between the villages of Mapayag and Bendolan, near the city’s boundary with Lantapan, Bukidnon.

A police officer who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the incident said the SOCO’s  vehicle was following the MCPS patrol vehicle when a land mine exploded and grenades were lobbed.

Killed were PO1 Ronel Bayta, PO1 Jimmy Napil Jr and civilian worker Rodel Dangop, whose designation has yet to be verified.

Another SOCO officer, PO1 Xerxes Von Palasol, is fighting for his life in a local hospital while four officers of the MPCS were also wounded, including police investigator PO3 Jomar Cahig, who was in critical condition as of press time, Meneses said.

The other officers were identified as team leader PO3 Sanrex Llido, PO3 Glenn Pamisa, and police trainee Angelo Linaban. Meneses said doctors have pronounced the three out of danger.

Meneses said the two police teams were responding to a report of another ambush that transpired two hours earlier. Radio station DXDB reported that armed men ambushed and killed Antonio Pechora, former barangay captain of Mapayag, in his house at around 8 a.m.  (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)