Four cops dead, 28 hurt as PNP truck plunges into ravine

Emergency responders and police try to rescue cops who were pinned by a PNP truck that fell into a ravine in Alimodian, Iloilo Saturday. (Photo from Alimodian police station)

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

Four policemen have died after the truck they were riding plunged into a ravine at Alimodian, Iloilo afternoon of Feb. 29, 2020.

The fatalities were identified as Police Corporal Emerson Peñarubia, Patrolman Rex Agupitan, Patrolman Prince Angelo Supiter, and Patrolman Antonio Tumanday, Jr.

The four were part of the 32 personnel (not 35 as earlier reported by police authorities) from the 601st Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RDMB) who were on board the vehicle.

Victims who were first to be rescued were brought to Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian town.

They were later transferred to Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao district, Iloilo Mission Hospital in Jaro district, and St. Paul’s Hospital in City Proper district in Iloilo City.

Those brought to St. Paul’s Hospital are:

  • Police Captain Bonifacio Alabe, Jr., the 601st Company Commander
  • Police Corporal Armand Bayoneta
  • PCpl Rocky Ebarsabal
  • Police Patrolman Noriel Vergara
  • Pat Jen Villanueva

Those who are treated at WVMC are:

  • PCpt Myles Dieron
  • PCpl Mark Anthony Lozada
  • PCpl June Err Pabiania
  • Pat Emerson Luage
  • Pat Ian Dapulano
  • Pat Aldin Jama
  • Pat Regie Bacolor
  • Pat Alan James Sitchon
  • Pat Abe Corros
  • Pat Roger Traviña
  • Pat Eric Palma
  • Pat James Paul Guilhon
  • Pat Jay-R Idquilla
  • Pat Helbert Lagura
  • Pat Jimboy Patricio
  • Pat Rhône’s Pahilanga
  • Pat Argie Rolando

Treated at Iloilo Mission Hospital are:

  • PCpl Kevin Puig
  • Pat Erol Antonio
  • Pat Francis Prudente (Driver)


There were also three personnel who were declared outpatients after receiving treatment.

The truck carrying 32 policemen was navigating a hilly portion of Barangay Ginomoy around 1:00 p.m. when the vehicle’s engine died.

Initial reports said the truck moved in reverse until it fell on a deep and rugged cliff.

Three of the policemen were believed to have instantly died while the other was declared dead later.

Police Colonel Paul Kenneth Lucas, Iloilo police chief, said the troops came from an operation prior to the incident.

From their extraction point of Minor Combat Operation, the victims were on their way to their company headquarters, which is just around a kilometer from where the incident happened.

From the initial investigation, it appeared that mechanical trouble caused the incident, Lucas said.

Members of the local disaster risk reduction office, rescue volunteers, other police troops, and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) immediately responded to do the rescue operation.

But Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) spokesperson, said the rescuers had difficulties pulling the victims out of the vehicle and bringing them up by the roadside.

Police Major Bonifacio Alabe, the 601st Company commander, also got pinned in the ill-fated vehicle.

He was the last to be extracted. Alabe was responsive as he was being pulled out from the vehicle.

Rescuers had to use a backhoe to pull Alabe out.

As this developed, Lucas has instructed police responders to secure the belongings of the police-victims after the rescue operations.

They were also told to vacate the area immediately.