Oliver Bugarin 8 0 0 5 min to read

PNP chief directs “scanning” of locations to find operational threats

Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP), issued an “environmental scanning” order on Friday to identify dangers in various locations to protect the security of police officers while on duty.

The decision was made in response to the ambush that took place in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, on Tuesday, which resulted in the deaths of the town’s police chief and a second policeman as they prepared to serve an arrest warrant on a person who was wanted nearby.

“You should perform environmental scanning because while it is true that we must carry out our duties, let’s not compromise our security. While kailangan ay gampanan ‘yung trabaho natin. So let’s do it if more people are needed to enter the region, Azurin said in a briefing held in conjunction with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s turnover of its PHP11 million small town lottery shares at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

According to Azurin, six suspects, all Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) members with outstanding arrest warrants, were reportedly implicated in the event.

He has commanded the prompt filing of charges notwithstanding ongoing operations to apprehend the suspects.

In the meantime, Azurin reiterated his appeal for the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to work together to root out lawless individuals in Mindanao.

This followed claims that police personnel still needed to obtain authorization from the organization before beginning anti-criminality operations within its borders.

“We expect them to support the government’s attempts to maintain peace and security in our nation, and one way they may do this is by allowing our police to enter what they claim to be their camps or territory, “said Azurin.

He asserted that the MILF must conduct its own internal purging in order to demonstrate its commitment to the peace process.

“I-surrender na nila pero di nila alam kung sino ‘yung may kaso sa kanila para hindi na maulit ‘yung mga ganitong insidente. This time, I’m telling you, we also require reciprocity from them. This time, I said we also need reciprocity from them, so he continued by surrendering their individuals; 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 occurrences like this,” he said.

Lt. Reynaldo Samson, the town’s police commander, and Cpl. Salipudin Endab, his aide-driver, were killed in the ambush on Tuesday in Barangay Kapinpilan in Ampatuan town, while three other police officers were injured.

For their eminent bravery and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, Samson and Endab received the Medalya ng Kadakilaan (Heroism Medal).

Sgt. Reynante Quinlayo, a senior master sergeant, and Cpls. Marc Clint Dayaday and Rogelio Dela Cuesta are both hospital patients in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.

When Azurin and Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. visited the three injured police officers on Wednesday at the hospital, they presented them with the Medalya ng Kadakilaan at Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting (PNP Wounded Personnel Medal).

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