Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Friday ordered an “environmental scanning” to identify the risks in various areas to ensure the safety of police personnel during operations.
The order came following Tuesday’s ambush in Ampatuan, Maguindanao where the town’s police chief and another police officer were killed while they are about to serve a warrant of arrest on a wanted person in the area.
The government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao condemned the brutal killings as BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim condoled the victims’ families and vowed to seek justice for the fallen cops.
Ampatuan Police Chief Lieutenant Reynaldo Orcine Samson and his aide, Police Corporal Salipuden Talipasan Endab died on Tuesday in an ambush allegedly perpetrated by a group led by one Guipar Abdulkarim and/or Bantukan Andog alias Commander Boy Jacket.
Three policemen were also wounded in the attack.
“You should conduct environmental scanning because while it is true that we need to perform our duty, let’s not sacrifice our security. So, if we need more people to enter the area let’s do it,” Azurin said in a briefing on the sidelines of the turnover of its P11 million in small town lottery shares by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Azurin said six suspects, all members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) with outstanding arrest warrants, have been tagged in the incident.
The PNP chief has ordered the immediate filing of charges amid the continuous pursuit operations against the suspects.
Meanwhile, Azurin renewed his call for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to cooperate with the government in going after lawless elements in Mindanao.
This came following reports that police officers still need to secure permission from the group before it can launch anti-criminality operations in its territories.
“We expect them that if they are embracing the government, they will be joining in the peace and security efforts of our country and one
way of showing is that our police are free to enter what they say as their camps or territories,” Azurin said.
He said the MILF must show sincerity to the peace process by undertaking its own internal cleansing.