President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday night visited the wake of four police personnel killed in an ambush by alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA), an armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), in Ayungon, Negros Oriental on Thursday, 18 July.
Duterte was accompanied by his former top aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, and Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino.
The President did not give any speech but led the conferment of the Order of Lapu-Lapu during the awarding rites held at Camp Francisco Fernandez, Sibulan, Negros Oriental.
They will also be receiving a PHP250,000 financial assistance from the government among other forms of aid.
The slain cops who received the posthumous award were Cpl. Relebert Beronio, Pat. Raffy Callao, Pat. Ruel Cabellon, and Pat. Marquino de Leon.
They are all intelligence personnel from the 704th Mobile Force Company Regional Mobile Force Battalion of the PNP in Central Visayas.
An initial report from the PNP showed that at around 2:30 p.m. on July 18, the four cops were on their way to the detachment at Sitio Nabinca when they were abducted by a group of NPA rebels and shot several times.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is given to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy.
CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.