CALBAYOG CITY – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Benjamin Acorda, Jr. ordered Eastern Visayas (EV) Police Director Brig. General Reynaldo Pawid on Friday (February 2) to run after the Ampuan Criminal Group following the encounter in Sta. Margarita, Samar.

“It appears that this group is very notorious. We should run after them and there should be no letup of police operations against them,” he said, during his visit to the wounded and slain cops during the service of warrants of arrest against Edito Ampuan, Jr. and his group.

He added that what had happened during the operation should be an encouragement to run after Ampuan’s group.

“We should not condone their actions or give one way or another give protection to them whoever in politics is behind them. Let us not turn our backs and run after criminals even if they are protected by politics or big personalities,” said Pawid.

He also challenged the cops not to side with politicians during his “Talk to Men” on Friday (January 2) citing the killings caused by gun-for-hire groups in Samar.

“Criminals are criminals. We don’t care if those gun-for-hire groups are backed by politicians. I’ll be at your back. If there are people who need to be served with search warrants whoever is protecting them, we will run after them. If you want, I will personally lead you to operate. Enough of protecting those gun-for-hire groups. They should not have a place here in this region,” explained Pawid.

The chief pointed out that the private armed group’s lair is always prepared and they have been involved in assassinations and gun-for-hire activities.

“During the conduct of the operation, the configuration of the houses had tunnels. They really fought against the police force, very notorious,” he disclosed.

Acorda said they are going to review the things that were learned from the operation and check the operations that they may not have done so they can rectify any errors.

Killed-in-action were Police Staff Sgt. Christian Tallo of the 1st Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company, Police Corporal Eliazar Estrelles, Jr. of the 1st SPMFC, and Police Master Sgt. Paul Terence Paclibar of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion-8.

The wounded cops were identified as Police Corporal Rannel Pedamato, Police Corporal Mark Jason Sixta, Police Patrolman Ham Kritnere Capalis, and Police Patrolman Mark Redoblado, all from the 1st SPMFC.

“It really hurts that there are lives lost but no amount of words, no money or material things can bring their lives back but I hope that what had happened here could serve as a lesson for everyone in conducting or doing troop leading procedures. Every life is important,” he emphasized. By Marie Tonette Marticio (EV Mail Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2024 issue)