They may have been traumatized by the ambush that left two of their colleagues dead and caused injuries to two others, but SPO2 Boyd Mate and Police Officer 1 Charlemaigne Caballero, who survived the incident unharmed, are still reporting for duty, Senior Inspector Varie Villanobos, Candoni police chief, yesterday said.
Villanobos said the Candoni police is maximizing its personnel to defend the town police station, in response to threats from the New People's Army to stage an attack since December.
Indeed, it was a miracle for Caballero and Mate to survive unharmed, with the police vehicle they were riding riddled with bullets, said Senior Supt. William Senoron, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.
Seventy bullet holes were noted on the brand new police car issued to the Candoni Police Station.
Villanobos said they are providing counseling assistance to Caballero and Mate.
Killed in the ambush Thursday last week were Police Officer 1 Henry Vell Pacheco of Candoni, and PO2 Joe Harry Peralta of Brgy. Tampalon, Kabankalan City.
But the injured policemen, PO2 Jay Arroyo, who was driving the police vehicle and PO1 Modesto Vina, are now in stable condition, Villanobos said.
But he said Arroyo may take three months to recuperate from his injuries.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said the slain policemen will be accorded appropriate funeral honors befitting their heroism in the police service.
While the atmosphere in Candoni is now back to normal, Villanobos said they have not lowered their guards since December, and will not take chances on security, after the ambush Thursday night, which took place more than a kilometer away from the town poblacion.
The Philippine Army and troopers of the Regional Public Safety Battalion 18 have already beefed up the Candoni police force.
Mayor said the Negros Island Police Regional Office has launched offensive counter-actions against the suspects in coordination with AFP forces in the island.
The perpetrators of this action will be hunted down and will be made to pay for their crime, he added.*GPB
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