Cop killed by 2 hitchhikers

THE GOOD deed of a police officer proved to be fatal.

A police officer who let two hitchhiking strangers on his motorcycle was instead killed by his passengers, suspected to be “agaw-armas” hitmen of the New People’s Army (NPA), in Barangay New Valencia, Tugbok District at 7:45 a.m. yesterday.

 The victim was identified as PO3 Wilfredo Bansag Garol Jr., 34, married, resident of Rubber Village in Calinan District who was assigned as intelligence operative of Baguio Police Precinct.

 The victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the different parts of his body which resulted to his instantaneous death.

 According to the report, the victim conveyed his wife, a teacher, to the school in Tugbok on board a XRM black motorcycle without plate number.

 As he was returning home, two unidentified male persons hitched a ride on his motorcycle.

 He let them board.

 However, the two men shot the victims as they passed Purok 5, Sitio Luman. The suspects took the officer’s service firearm as they fled to unknown direction using the victim’s motorcycle.

 Police Regional Office (PRO) Director Chief Supt Manuel Gaerlan condemned the “senseless and cowardly” attack .

 “Garol was a good public servant, police officer and loving husband,” Gaerlan said. “This act is a manifestation that the NPAs as well as other communist front organizations have no regard for human right and the international humanitarian law.”

 While saying they are still conducting further investigation on the case and that they are yet to establish the identity of the attackers, DCPO spokesperson Sr. Insp. Maria Teresita Gaspan said they are not discounting the possibility that the attackers are NPA members.

 She said the place of the attack is considered as Red-identified area and the pattern of the attack, particularly the carting of firearm, is a doing of communist rebels.

 The victim’s wallet was not taken by the suspects, thus theory on “agaw-armas” floats.

 Gaspan said the DCPO has already directed all its personnel, particularly the 12 precinct commanders, to be in full alert status.

 The DCPO required all officers to be in buddy system whenever they are outside the stations.

 “We are directing all PNP personnel to exercise extraordinary vigilance especially in going in a particular place alone,” Gaspan added.

 DCPO Director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum said the murder of Garol will be thoroughly investigated to identify those behind the “treacherous” killing.

 “Although we accept the danger of our chosen vocation but we will not allow his killers go unpunished,” Tagum added. “We will go after them with the full might of the law.”

 He said the attack will not deter the DCPO in its intensified fight against all forms of domestic threats posed by communist terrorist or other criminals.

 “This incident will also serve as a strong warning to all personnel of DCPO that they can’t afford to relax their personal security because then it will cause them their lives,” Tagum said.

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