PHILIPPINE National Police Officer-in-Charge (PNP-OIC), Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. Sundat lauded the heroism of a Bicol policeman who was killed in a gunbattle with a New People’s Army rebel in Pasay City on Friday dawn.
“We are grieving over the loss of another police officer who was shot dead while performing his lawful duty to arrest a most wanted dangerous persons,” the top cop said at the wake of the late Staff Sergeant Nikki Codera.
The top cop was joined by Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) director, Brigadier Gen. Mario A. Reyes in condoling with the family of the late policeman whose remains were taken to the Veronica Memorial Homes in Pasay City.
Reyes also visited the immediate superior of Codera, Lieutenant Rogelio Walay of the Masbate Police Provincial Office’s 2nd Provincial Mobile Group who was wounded in the same gunfight.
Walay and Codera were shot by Hubert Aplacador, an NPA member wanted for a murder case around 4:40 a.m. Friday.
Codera died while being taken to the San Juan de Dios Medical Center where Walay was also rushed for treatment of a gunshot wound in the chest. The police lieutenant was later transferred to the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame where he is in stable condition.
The PNP-OIC and PRO5 director gave financial assistance to the wives of the two brave policemen.
The two were shot while about to arrest Aplacador alias ‘Ka Panggoy’ in his hiding place in Malibay, Pasay City. The suspect is the subject of a non-bailable warrant of arrest for murder issued by a Masbate court.
Aplacador was killed on the spot during the clash. Police said that he is one of the suspects ordered arrested in connection with the killing on September 2, 2021 of Maxwelito Escarcha, a 44-year old ‘kagawad’ of Bgy. Almero in Cataingan, Masbate.
At least 12 heavily-armed suspected NPA guerrillas armed with automatic rifles and pistols barged into the house of the victim. One of the suspects shot the victim in the chest and abdomen before fleeing on foot.
The victim was reportedly killed for helping government troops in the area.
According to a National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) report, the Masbate policemen sought the assistance of the Pasay City Police Station in serving the warrant of arrest against Aplacador who was found hiding in Barangay 157 in Malibay area.
At around 4:40 a.m. Friday, the Masbate policemen tried to serve the warrant of arrest issued against Aplacador by Judge Igmedio Fide of the Cataingan, Masbate Regional Trial Court Branch 49 at no. 157 P. Santos Interior in Bgy. 157 only to be met with gunfire from the suspect.
“Our police personnel tried to serve the warrant peacefully but the suspect was armed and was violent. Thus, the operating groups had to defend themselves. It is unfortunate that one of our comrades died while fulfilling his duty as a law enforcer. This is the risk that goes along with our job in ensuring a criminal-free and crime-free community,” Danao said as he led the entire force in mourning the death of SSgt. Codera.
Danao said that the slain cop will be given a hero’s burial as he assured the fallen officer’s family of the immediate release of all benefits and awards due him.
“We mourn the death of a brave police officer who was shot by an armed suspect during a law enforcement operation. It is very unfortunate that the police operation intended to arrest a wanted person accused of murder has resulted in a bloody shootout,” said Natividad.
“Ang hindi matatawarang katapangan na ipinakita ni PSSG Codera na walang takot na humarap sa panganib upang tuparin ang kanyang tungkulin ay tunay na kapuri-puri at dapat ipagmalaki.
Pinapaalalahanan ko ang lahat ng ating mga kapulisan hindi lamang sa NCRPO kundi sa buong organisasyon ng PNP na huwag magpapakampante sa pagganap ng ating mga tungkulin lalong lalo na pag ang huhulihin ay mga miyembro ng teroristang grupo o mga delikadong indibidwal,” he added.