Duterte can­cels visit to wake of cop slain in Bo­hol en­counter

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Leo Ud­to­han and Ador Vin­cent Mayol

MUDDY roads stopped Pres­i­dent Duterte from at­tend­ing the wake of the lone po­lice­man killed dur­ing the en­counter with Abu Sayyaf mem­bers in In­a­banga town, Bo­hol, last week.

In­stead, Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ron­ald “Bato” dela Rosa vis­ited the fam­ily of SPO2 Rey An­thony Nazareno in Barangay Ul­bu­jan and con­ferred the Medalya ng Kadak­i­laan (Hero­ism Medal) in recog­ni­tion of Nazareno’s brav­ery and ded­i­ca­tion.

“The recog­ni­tion is due him. He did a good job,” he later told re­porters in Cebu City.

Mr. Duterte was in Tag­bi­la­ran City, Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, to at­tend a se­cu­rity brief­ing with po­lice, mil­i­tary, lo­cal and Cabi­net of­fi­cials on the clash with the Abu Sayyaf in In­a­banga and the on­go­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions Sum­mit (Asean) meet­ings on Panglao Is­land.

Mr. Duterte told re­porters that the mil­i­tary ad­vised him not to pro­ceed be­cause the he­li­copter would have dif­fi­culty land­ing in the vil­lage since the area was muddy.

“I was sup­posed to visit now, but the mil­i­tary ad­vised me to­day that the area is muddy and far. The area is very muddy,” the Pres­i­dent said in Filipino.

Mr. Duterte stayed in Tag­bi­la­ran for at least three hours be­fore go­ing to Manila.

The day be­fore, mem­bers of the Pres­i­den­tial Man­age­ment Staff went to the house of the Nazarenos and brought a fu­neral wreath and cash as­sis­tance from Mala­cañang.

Nazareno, 30, and the youngest of four sib­lings, was one of the four gov­ern­ment troop­ers killed dur­ing the clash in Barangay Napo, In­a­banga.

He was killed less than a month after com­plet­ing his train­ing at the Spe­cial Weapons and Tac­tics (SWAT) last March.

Other gov­ern­ment fa­tal­i­ties were 2nd Lieu­tenant Espelito Sal­dua Jr., Cor­po­ral Meljun Ca­ja­ban and Sergeant John Dexter Duero.

On the other hand, five mem­bers of the ban­dit group were killed in­clud­ing their leader Abu Rami.

Dela Rosa ar­rived in Barangay Ul­bu­jan in Calape town past 7 p.m., on board a van from Tag­bi­la­ran, said Se­nior Insp. Cre­sente Gur­rea, Calape Po­lice Sta­tion chief.

He handed the Medalya ng Kadak­i­laan and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to Nazareno’s parents Dom­i­nador and Gal­ven­cia.

Gur­rea said Dela Rosa stayed at the wake for an hour be­fore go­ing back to Tag­bi­la­ran where he had din­ner with Bo­hol Gov. Edgar Chatto at the Gov­er­nor’s Man­sion.

He then pro­ceeded to the port in Tu­bigon town where he took a fastcraft to Cebu City so he could take an early-morn­ing flight to Manila.

“Al­though the fam­ily grieved the loss of a loved one, they are still proud that he (Nazareno) of­fered his life for the coun­try,” Dela Rosa said.

“Los­ing one’s life is part of the life of a po­lice­man. We just have to be care­ful,” he added.

Dom­i­nador, 61, said he thanked the gov­ern­ment for the as­sis­tance.

CON­TRIB­UTED BY ERN PAHAYAHAY

Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) chief Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ron­ald “Bato” dela Rosa vis­its the wake of slain po­lice­man SPO2 Rey An­thony Nazareno and com­forts his fam­ily

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