CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: A police officer and an infant were killed while five others, including a town police chief, were wounded when unidentified armed men ambushed a police patrol car and a civilian vehicle in Talakag, Bukidnon on Thursday.
Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesman for the regional police command in Cagayan de Oro City, identified the police fatality as Senior Police Officer (SPO)3 Arnel Carillo.
Gonda identified the infant, a four-month-old baby girl, as Malysha Machorao who died from a bullet wound in the head.
The baby was reportedly cuddled by Ali Aminsalam, 37, while on board a Toyota Fortuner (UNI 707), driven by Insp. Joven Acuesta, chief of police of Bumbaran, Lanao del Sur, and another civilian, Sitti Ali, 53, who were all wounded in the attack,
Gonda said the incident took place at about 5:30 p.m. along Kilometer 23, Barangay Tikalaan in Talakag town.
Wounded, too, were Police Officer (PO)1 Nathaniel Ibal and SPO1 Pacifico Cabudoy, both of the Bumbaran police station; and Alexander Maniscan, a civilian who was on board a Mahindra police car.
Chief Insp. Jemar delos Santos, spokesman for the Police Regional Office in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-ARMM) based in Camp Gen. SK Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao said Acuesta was driving the SUV with the civilians and the baby traveling from Cagayan de Oro City to Wao, Lanao del Sur, when ambushed by unidentified armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army.
He added that the regional police command has launched a pursuit operation against the perpetrators and that he ordered an investigation of the incident.
The gunmen reportedly left behind an improvised explosive that was disarmed later.
The ambush site was littered with bullet casings fired from AK-47 assault rifles.
Police said the town of Wao is a rebel-infested area.
with JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL