By Aaron Recuenco
Two policemen were wounded in an ambush allegedly perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Patikul, Sulu.
Brig. Gen. Marni Marcos, director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional police, said the attack occurred, while operatives of the Second Provincial Mobile Force Company of Sulu were conducting route security for teachers that would be assigned in the eastern part of Patikul.
He identified the victims as Corporal Angelo Canapi and Patrolman Nijar Awwalon.
“They were fired upon by lawless men believed to be Abu Sayyaf. This resulted in a heavy firefight,” said Marcos.
Canapi was hit in the right forearm while Awwalon was hit in the head. They were taken to a nearby hospital.
Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), lauded the two cops for bravery.
“The PNP recognizes their exemplary performance for perfroming their task amid heavy volume of fire,” said Banac.
Marcos said he has already ordered an investigation, and follow-up operations against those involved in the ambush.
“Despite this incident, we will continue securing our teachers at all times,” said Marcos.
The attack occurred days after two bombs exploded in the same area wherein a soldier was injured.
The ASG has been a security headache of the government in western part of Mindanao. President Duterte earlier ordered the police and the military to crush the Abu Sayyaf.