Samar Photo shows a Samar Provincial Police Mobile Group member distributing goods to a local resident of Gandara before New People’s Army (NPA) rebels ambushed them. Killed in the clash was Patrolman Mark Monge (inset).

PNP mourns death of rookie cop killed in NPA Samar attack

July 18, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 535 views

POLICE forces across the country mourned the death of a rookie cop who was gunned down by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels while the victim and his colleagues were engaged in humanitarian activity in a poor community in Gandara, Samar, last Saturday.

“We deeply express our condolences to the bereaved family of Patrolman Mark Mongre. His dedication to fulfilling his duty to serve and protect the country will always be remembered,” said PNP Officer-in-Charge (PNP-OIC) Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr.

A hurting Lt. Gen. Danao also said he wishes that the Philippine media would “highlight” the sacrifices of the police force in fighting criminality, terror, and corruption in the country, particularly the officers who have died in the anti-drug war and crackdown on insurgency and terrorism.

Pat. Mongre became the 309th policeman to be killed in the line of duty since 2016. Of the number, 59 were shot dead while performing anti-narcotics operations, 161 died in anti-criminality campaigns, and 91 perished due to counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism drives.

Ten of the 309 slain policemen were killed while conducting anti-illegal drug operations in Metro Manila.

“We grieve for another policeman killed in the performance of duty. He may not be with us anymore but rest assured that his memory will not be forgotten,” said the top cop as he led the whole organization in mourning the death of the Samar cop who displayed bravery and gallantry and offered the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

Last month, a Bicol policeman identified as Staff Sergeant Nikki Codera was killed in a gun battle with a wanted NPA rebel in Pasay City. Codera’s superior, Lt. Rogelio Walay, was also wounded in the gunfight with the suspect they were trying to arrest for a murder case in his hiding place in Pasay City.

Then there is the case of Pat. Joshua Linggayo of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group died 14 days after being shot in the abdomen by one of two heavily-armed kidnappers in Pililla, Rizal.

The two suspects who were eventually killed in the gunfight with PNP-AKG agents were among the armed men who seized two men in Tondo, Manila, and demanded a P100 million ransom for their release.

The PNP-AKG, headed by Brigadier Gen. Rudolph B. Dimas, launched an operation that led to the safe release of the two hostages and the killing of the two suspects.

The top cop called on the country and wished that the media, in particular, will not forget the heroism of these fallen policemen and even, for a day or too make it a point to focus on their sacrifices and the families they have left just like the way many Filipinos would turn a simple act, a picture or a video into a viral Facebook post.

Police Regional Office 8 (PRO 8) Director Brig. Gen. Bernard M. Banac said that Pat. Monge was among the members of the 804th Maneuver Company of the Eastern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company who encountered around ten heavily-armed NPA guerrillas while conducting humanitarian activity in San Nicolas, San Jose de Buan, and Barangay Mabuhay in Gandara, Samar last Saturday.

According to the Eastern Visayas police director, the officers led by Lt. Mark Mhon Amistoso were fired upon by gunmen hiding in the bushes.

The lawmen returned fire and forced the rebels to flee on foot after a 5-minute firefight. However, Pat. Monge was badly wounded during the clash and died while being taken to a local hospital.

Brig. Gen. Banac said that the NPA group was believed to have suffered an undetermined number of casualties during the gunfight. He said that officers are checking hospitals and clinics in the area for the presence of any person being treated for a gunshot wound.

“With the death of Pat. Monge, we in the PNP strongly condemn such treacherous acts made by the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) members. We will not cease chasing the perpetrators. The CTG is one of the ‘roots’ of poverty in the hinterland areas of Eastern Visayas, and this has to end. We will further intensify our campaign against insurgency,” the PRO 8 director said.

Lt. Gen. Danao said all necessary assistance and benefits will be given to the family of the slain cop, who will be given a hero’s burial.

“Justice will be served. The perpetrators will be made to answer for their criminal actions,” the PNP-OIC said.