By Tara Yap
Iloilo City — Four combat cops are dead while 31 other cops were injured after a police truck fell off a mountain road in Alimodian town, Iloilo province Saturday afternoon.
Police Lt. Col. Joem Malong, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO-6), identified the four casualties as Police Corporal Emerson Peñarubia, Police Patrolman Rex Agupitan, Police Patrolman Prince Angelo Supiter, and Police Patrolman Antonio Tumanday Jr.
All four were under PRO’s 601st Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB). They among the 35 who were aboard a patrol truck, which fell while traversing Ginomoy village past 1 p.m. of Feb. 29.
Police Executive Master Sergeant Ev Baclay of Alimodian police told Manila Bulletin the truck was on its way back to its headquarters after a minor combat operation when the incident occurred.
The truck, driven by Police Patrolman Francis Prudente, flipped over when it fell and pinned down several of the men including Police Captain Bonifacio Alabe, the commanding officer.
Rescue workers, including some from Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), had to cut apart the truck with heavy equipment to be able to remove Alabe and others.
Baclay said the surviving cops were taken to a hospital in Alimodian town while those with serious injuries were taken to hospitals in Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, the police denied reports that the incident was the result of an attack by the New People’s Army (NPA).