MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Friday ordered an "environmental scanning" to identify the risks in various areas to ensure the safety of police personnel during operations.
The order came following Tuesday's ambush in Ampatuan, Maguindanao where the town's police chief and another police officer were killed while they are about to serve a warrant of arrest on a wanted person in the area.
“You should conduct environmental scanning because while it is true na kailangan ay gampanan ‘yung trabaho natin ay huwag rin natin i-sacrifice ‘yung security natin (that we need to perform our duty, let's not sacrifice our security). So if we need more people to enter the area gawin natin (let's do it),” Azurin said in a briefing on the sidelines of the turnover of its PHP11 million small town lottery shares by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Azurin said six suspects, all members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) with outstanding arrest warrants, have been tagged in the incident.
He has ordered the immediate filing of charges amid the continuous pursuit operations against the suspects.
Azurin, meanwhile, renewed his call for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to cooperate with the government in going after lawless elements in Mindanao.
This came following reports that police officers still need to secure permission from the group before it can launch anti-criminality operations in its territories.
“We expect them that if they are embracing the government, they will be joining in the peace and security efforts of our country and one way of showing is that our police are free to enter what they say as their camps or territories," Azurin said.
He said the MILF must show sincerity to the peace process by undertaking its own internal cleansing.
"Alam naman nila kung sino ‘yung may kaso sa kanila, i-surrender na nila para hindi na maulit ‘yung mga ganitong insidente. This time, sabi ko nga we need also reciprocity from them. So by surrendering ‘yung mga tao nila, that's part of the reciprocity that we are expecting from them (They know who among their members have pending cases. They should surrender them to avoid incidents like this. This time, I said we also need reciprocity from them. So by surrendering their people, that's part of the reciprocity that we are expecting from them),” he added.
Killed in Tuesday's ambush in Barangay Kapinpilan in Ampatuan town were Lt. Reynaldo Samson, the town's police chief, and his aide-driver, Cpl. Salipudin Endab while three other police personnel were wounded.
Samson and Endab were conferred with Medalya ng Kadakilaan (Heroism Medal) for their conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.
Wounded in the incident are Senior Master Sgt. Reynante Quinalayo, and Cpls. Rogelio Dela Cuesta, and Marc Clint Dayaday who are all confined at a hospital in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.
The three wounded police officers received the Medalya ng Kadakilaan at Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting (PNP Wounded Personnel Medal) from Azurin and Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., who visited them at the hospital on Wednesday. (PNA)