Cops condemn killing of DENR employee, disarming of 5 lawmen

THE Police Regional Office 2 headed by Brigadier General Jose Mario Espino yesterday condemned a series of New People’s Army atrocities in the region including the killing of a member of the Isabela Provincial Environment and Natural Resources and the disarming of five local policemen.

Espino said that the guerrillas disarmed Corporals Gaudencio Castillo Jr. and Earl Brian Gannaban, both members of the Cauayan City Police Station; Staff Sergeant Fernando Capilian of the Cordon Municipal Police Station; and Master Sergeant Julius Baribad and Cpl. Bryan Balisi, both members of the Divilacan Municipal Police Station.

Castillo, Gannaban and Capilian were in a pick-up traveling in Sitio Lagis, Purok 7, Bgy. Sindun Bayabo in Ilagan City around 7:30 a.m. on Friday when stopped  at gunpoint by some 25 heavily-armed NPA rebels led by “Ka Uno” and “Ka Damian.”

The gunmen divested the three policemen of their short firearms, handheld radios, cash and other personal belongings before setting them free.

Thirty minutes later, the same group of suspects also disarmed Baribad and Balisi of their Philippine National Police-issued pistols.

Espino said that the five policemen identified two of their tormentors as “Ka Uno” and an NPA amazon known by her alias “Valencia” after being showed pictures of suspected NPA personalities in the area.

The Cagayan Valley police director said that at around 2:45 p.m. on the same day, a concerned citizen also reported the killing of Celso Asuncion, a 58-year-old member of the Isabela Environment Protection Task Force residing in Bgy. Cabisera 10.

The victim was found killed in his office in Bgy. Sindun Bayabo.