From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21): Cop hurt in ambush gets commended by PNP chief; receives medal of honor
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Friday morning commended Police Officer 1 Cielito Amistad who was wounded in an ambush by 60 to 80 suspected New People’s Army rebels in Barangay Badling, Uson town, Masbate on Thursday.
The commendation was conveyed to Amistad by Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, head of the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5), who visited the wounded policeman at the Masbate City Hospital on Friday morning.
During the hospital visit Buenafe pinned the “Medalya ng Kagitingan” (medal of valor) on Amistad as he was in his hospital bed at 8:45 a.m. today.
“The PNP Chief said he also salutes you for showing gallantry while fulfilling your duty,” Buenafe told Amistad who suffered shrapnel wounds on his upper right chest.
Amistad also received cash assistance from Buenafe who was accompanied by Masbate Governor Antonio Kho during the hospital visit.
The police officer has rendered five years of service to the Philippine National Police when he received the medal of honor.
Buenafe said Amistad belonged to a group of nine policemen from the Uson Municipal Police Office who were responding to a shooting incident in Barangay Badling in Uson when the ambush occurred at dawn on Thursday.
“The police station had received a report that the brother of the village chairman of Badling was killed by unidentified armed men at 4 a.m.,” added Buenafe.
Amistad recounted their group headed by SPO4 Manny Marcaida immediately trooped to Badling after receiving the report.
He said he was among those in front as the police team was entering the village.
“The police team was around three and a half kilometers away from the national road when I was hit by a landmine,” said Amistad.
He said at this point the communist rebels started spraying fire on the police team. He added the guerrillas were firing from an M203.
“I thought I was near my life’s end. Aside from my wounds I could not sense the presence of my police team mates whom I thought may have also been wounded,” Amistad recounted to Buenafe.
Amistad said after a few more moments, he heard his companions trading shots with the rebels. He said this lasted for around 20 minutes.
“The firefight stopped only after the NPA rebels thought reinforcements for the police team were already coming because it had been a ‘long and intense’ firefight,” he added.
He said this gave the police team a chance to retreat and go to safer grounds.
Buenafe said Amistad was the who was severely wounded during the ambush.
He was rushed to the hospital and has been declared as in stable condition.