Police units and personnel in Caraga region were alerted to observe personal security while on or off duty against possible abduction and chance hits by armed partisans of the communist New People’s Army.
The Caraga Police Regional Office reiterated the warning as it uncovered plans by the CPP/NPA to take police hostages to apply pressure on government into declaring a Yuletide ceasefire coinciding with the 50th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26th.
Police Chief Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, Caraga PNP Regional Director bared this plan by the CPP/NPA following the capture of three suspects believed to be drivers of “habal-habal” motorcycles used in the murder of SPO1 Reil M Morgado of Santiago Municipal Police Station in Agusan del Norte who was gunned down on the night of December 13 in an apparent kidnapping attempt.
Morgado was at home in Purok 4, Barangay Jagupit at 8:30 PM when he noticed some suspicious-looking men loitering around his house. When he went out to verify, he was immediately fired upon from different directions when the suspects sensed that he was prepared to defend himself from abduction. He managed to return fire but was subsequently felled by multiple gunshot wounds.
The suspects sped off after looting the government-issued firearm and some personal belongings of the victim.
A confidential informant led police to nearby Purok 8 of Barangay Poblacion 1 where lawmen arrested three “habal-habal” drivers, believed to have driven the getaway motorcycles of the gunmen. Two Rusi 150cc. motorcycles allegedly used in the crime were also recovered.
The suspects, identified as Renato CAERLENG, 34; Ryan James CAERLENG, 18; and Riedel CABELLO, 26, are presently undergoing investigation.
In Camp Crame, PNP Chief, Director General Oscar D Albayalde extended the condolences of the PNP to the orphaned family of SPO1 Morgado and assured them of all state benefits due for personnel who died in line of duty.
“SPO1 Morgado did not die in vain, because someone will take his place to accomplish the unfinished mission,” the Chief PNP said.
The Utrecht-based CPP leadership of Jose Ma. Sison has ordered its armed wing New People’s Army to escalate attacks on government and civilian targets in response to the Congressional approval of an extension of martial law in Mindanao until 2019.