PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Saturday led his men in giving a hero’s. burial to the late Sulu Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Michael C. Bawayan Jr.
Bawayan, a member of PNP Academy ‘Kaagapay’ Class of 1996 was laid to his final resting place at the Bugayan Cemetery in La Trinidad, Benguet following a high noon ceremony fit for a hero including a 12-gun salute.
“The men and women of the Philippine National Police joins the bereaved family in mourning the death of Police Colonel Michael Bawayan Jr, a man of honor and dignity,” the top cop said said as the flag-draped coffin carrying the remains of the late official was brought to his final resting place by six pall bearers, some of them classmates of the fallen officer.
The burial ceremony was accentuated by a 3-volley rifle salute and bugle taps according to prescribed police customs and tradition.
The high noon burial ceremony was attended by Bayawan’s family, relatives, close friends, colleagues from the Special Action Force and other PNP units.
Gen. Eleazar was joined by Cordillera Police Regional Office director, Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee during the tearful occasion.
“PCol Bayawan will be missed for his professionalism, courage, and integrity. He is truly an officer and a gentlemen which we can all be proud of. Thank you for the 28 years of outstanding service to our beloved country and the Filipino people”, Gen. Eleazar said before he handed over the folded Philippine flag to the slain cop’s mother, Mrs. Catalina Bawayan.
As of press time, the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is still investigating what drove Staff Sergeant Imran Jilah to shoot Bawayan to death before he was gunned down by the latter’s security men on Friday last week.
The 49-year old Bawayan was inspecting a Quarantine Control Point in Barangay Asturias in the Walled City of Jolo around 4:20 p.m. two Fridays ago when he was killed.
The police official’s assailant identified as SSgt. Jilah,43, a member of the 3rdManeuver Platoon of the Sulu PPO’s 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company was killed in an ensuing gunbattle with security men of Col. Bawayan.
According to Gen. Eleazar, he has instructed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Police Regional Office director, Brigadier Gen. Eden T. Ugale to fully determine the circumstances that led to the deadly shooting incident.
An initial investigation showed that Col. Bawayan, a native of Mountain Province residing in Baguio City was inspecting the QCP in Bgy. Asturias when he was shot by SSgt. Jilah, a resident of Kasalamatan Village in Bgy. San Raymundo, also in Jolo.
The police official was rushed to the Integrated Provincial Health Office where he was pronounced dead upon arrival by an attending physician.
The suspect died on the spot during the firefight with security men of Col. Bayawan.
There were unconfirmed reports that prior to the shooting incident, Bayawan accosted the suspect after he saw him with an improper haircut. The known police disciplinarian reportedly reprimanded the policeman before allowing him to return to his post.
However, the official again saw the cop with his hair still uncut tried to cut the policeman’s hair on the spot. This reportedly angered and embarrassed the cop who suddenly shot the Sulu police director before he was killed by the latter’s bodyguards.
Col. Bayawan was described as a bemedaled member of PNPA Class 1996 who was designated as Sulu police director in March last year.