A member of the 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion who was injured in a gunbattle with about 30 suspected New People’s Army rebels in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, was awarded yesterday with a Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting, by the Police Regional Office 6, in recognition of his gallantry.
Chief Supt. Cipriano Querol, Western Visayas police director, yesterday pinned the medal on PO1 Othenes Ruga Jr., who is confined at the Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Bacolod City, for his injury on the right elbow.
Querol lauded the members of the 2nd Company of the 6th RPSB, including Ruga, headed by Inspector Antonio Benitez for gallantry, after they engaged about 30 armed rebels in a more than 20 minutes of gunbattle Tuesday in Sitio Pinau-pakan, Brgy. Libertad, Escalante City, despite being heavily outnumbered.
“There were only 12 of them but they fought bravely”, Querol said.
Supt. Milko Lirazan, 6th RPSB director, said two teams of police troopers who stumbled on a group of 30 rebels clad in black uniforms resting in Brgy. Libertad, Escalante City, which is adjacent to Brgy. Bandila, Toboso and Brgy. Pantao, Calatrava, opened fire first, hitting three rebels.
While trying to retrieve the injured rebels, Lirazan said the police troopers were met with intense firing from rebels, which triggered a gunbattle for more than 20 minutes, and resulted in the injury of Ruga.
He said the fleeing rebels managed to rescue their injured comrades, while withdrawing from the encounter site.
The pinning of the medal on Ruga by Querol was also witnessed by Lirazan, Senior Supt. Celestino Guara Jr., chief of the PRO6 Personnel and Human Resource Development Division, and Senior Supt.Ricardo de la Paz, Bacolod City Police Office *GPB