ANOTHER PANGASINAN HERO
SAN NICOLAS – While video footages of the terror that the Maute group wreaked over Marawi City continue to alarm Filipinos, Pangasinenses were stunned to learn of the firefight in their own province between the police and the members of the New Peoples Army in this town last Friday.
The encounter happened in Camps 3 and 4 in the boundaries of Barangays Sta. Maria and Malico in San Nicolas town.
“Stay calm, exercise caution and continue to pray for the safety of the people and the municipality,” Mayor Rebecca Saldivar told the media as elements of the police and army were conducting hot pursuit operations.
But even before Police Provincial Director P/Sr. Superintendent Ronald Lee reported that that situation in the entire sixth district was under control, the death of one of the police that engaged the communist rebels, was already reported.
Police Officer 2 Aries Tamondong of the PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB), a native of Manaoag town, married and with four children, died in the performance of his duty.
Gov. Amado Espino III paid a tribute to Tamondong: “PO2 Tamondong’s noble deed and ultimate sacrifice to ensure peace and order in our province deserve our deepest admiration, utmost respect and most profound gratitude.”
“To his family, our sincerest condolences in this time of your bereavement,” the governor said.
He also cited the heroic efforts of the policemen and soldiers who not only retrieved the body of Tamondong and rescued PO2 Jonielon Marius Bagcal who was wounded but ultimately repulsed the rebel force.
“Pangasinan, he said, lauds and salutes the courage and gallantry of the government troops not just in the San Nicolas encounter but also in the Marawi battle,” Espino said. (PIA-Pangasinan/ VHS)