By Jennifer P. Rendon
Two police officers were wounded in an ambuscade allegedly perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) on Dec 11, 2022 in San Remigio, Antique.
The two wounded officers were identified as Corporal Jomer Yamuyam and Patrolman Danmer dela Cruz, both members of the 1st Antique Provincial Mobile Force Company.
Members of the 1st APMFC and San Remigio Municipal Police Station were at Sitio Gahit, Barangay Aningalan around 12:30 p.m. Sunday when the ambush happened.
Reports reaching the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 stated that the police personnel responded to reports of armed persons sighted in Aningalan village.
Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief, said they were tasked to verify intelligence reports of suspected NPA rebels handing out leaflets and vandalizing the Green House, a government-owned vegetable plantation located in the area.
They prepared different vehicles – motorcycles, police cars, and unmarked vehicles – when they travelled to the area.
As they neared the site, they were allegedly shot by around 16 armed persons led by Harold Mariano alias Rod.
Yamuyam and dela Cruz were both onboard the marked police vehicle.
A 10-minute firefight ensued between the two forces before the rebels retreated.
“We believed that it was not their intention to engage our troops for a longer firefight. They made a bait hoping that they would cause damage,” Francisco said.
The two wounded cops were immediately extracted from the area and taken to Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose town.
Francisco said that one of them was later referred for further treatment at a hospital in Iloilo City.
Following what happened, Francisco said he’s been reminding personnel in the past three weeks to be mindful of their safety and security.
“Dapat matalino sila sa pagresponde,” he said.
They should make a validation first by coordinating with barangay officials, he added.
“Dapat huwag pumunta ng alanganing oras,” Francisco said.
Immediately after the incident, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) 6’s Legal Cooperation Cluster issued a statement condemning the incident.
Prosecutor 2 Flosemer Chris Gonzales, RTF-ELCAC spokesperson, said they “condemn the treacherous attack conducted by the CPP-NDF-NPA earlier today on police personnel of the Antique Provincial Mobile Force while the latter were responding to a report of alleged placement of CTG placards on a government-owned facility at Barangay Aningalan, San Remigio, Antique.”
“This act of terrorism only shows that the CPP-NDF-NPA remains the most notorious human rights violator in our country,” he said.
Gonzales also reiterated their commitment to winning the peace by ending the local communist armed conflict.