A report by the Eastern Visayas police office said the two patrol trucks plunged 40 feet down after one of them lost its brakes and collided with the vehicle in front.
“Unluckily, the second vehicle bumped the rear portion of the first vehicle, as a result of the impact, both drivers lost control of their vehicles and fell to the cliff in the roadside,” the PNP said in its report.
The fatality was identified as Patrolman John Carlo Tahitit while injured were Police Lt. Dominique Ordonio, Police Corporals Jerry Sendo and Antoine John Escosia, and Police Patrolmen Roel Catalbas, Jescel Mark Echem, Elfon Jay Violeta, Joseph Lalino, Raymart Bernard Tacudog, Jerone Ejurango, Muhammad Zulfikhar, Archie Bolon, Oliver Ardoña, Pedro Anceta Sally, Leonel Eborda, Polibert Castañeda, Jordan Sabiano, Melrich Daba, James Royd Galido, Cominso Magsaysay, Nikko Cordada, and Clifford Felipe Repollo.
Also injured were two former rebels who served as guides of the SAF troopers.
The injured, 11 of whom sustained serious injuries, were taken to the Catarman District Hospital in Catarman, Northern Samar.
The SAF troopers were on their way to Barangay Bulao in Las Navas when the accident happened.
Some barangays in the fourth-class town, located 330 kilometers north of this city, are known as influenced by the New People’s Army (NPA).