Slain cops to get 21-gun salute
CEBU, Philippines — The four cops allegedly killed by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Negros Oriental last week will be given the 21-gun salute when they are laid to rest.
The schedule of the burial, though, will depend on their families, said Police Capt. Wilbert Parilla of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion – 7.
Yesterday, the remains of the four police officers were brought to their hometowns in Negros Island hours after President Rodrigo Duterte paid his respects at their wake at a police camp in Sibulan town.
Duterte has conferred to the cops the Order of Lapu-Lapu along with the Kalasag Medal.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu recognizes government workers and private individuals who provide “invaluable or extraordinary service in relation to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”
Meanwhile, the Kalasag Medal is given to those who lost their lives as a direct result in participating in activities related to the President’s campaigns and advocacies.
Parilla said they cannot disclose the specific addresses of the four cops as their families reportedly continue to receive threats from the NPA.
Police Lt. Colonel Maria Aurora Rayos said the Police Regional Office – 7 will give cash assistance to the cops’ families and will handle wake and burial expenses.
“Ang tanan magasto sa wake, gikan sa mga food, kay gi-shoulder sad sa PRO-7 (All expenses during the wake, like for the food, is being shouldered by PRO-7),” Rayos said.
Police Corporal Relebert Beronio, Patrolman Raffy Callao, Patrolman Ruel Cabellon, and Patrolman Marquino de Leon were ambushed on July 18.
Police investigators said they were executed summarily and were allegedly dragged hogtied, and “buttstroked” by at least 30 armed men. One of the slain cops reportedly suffered a fractured rib.
PRO-7 Director Debold Sinas said their investigation also revealed that the victims were kneeling when they were shot based on the trajectory of the bullet holes at the back of their heads.
Sinas said they have already identified possible suspects but declined to disclose their identities so as not to “alarm anyone.”
The four cops were members of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion-7 assigned to a detachment in Sitio Nabingka, Barangay Mabato in Ayungon. They were verifying intelligence reports of the presence of NPA rebels in the area when they were attacked. (FREEMAN)