Police captain gunned down in Iloilo encounter with rebs


PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday ordered a stepped-up pursuit operation against a group of New People’s Army guerrillas who killed a young police captain during an encounter in Janiuay, Iloilo last Wednesday.

The PNP chief also expressed the PNP’s deepest sympathies to the family of 29-year-old Captain Efren Espanto Jr. and assured his surviving kin of all PNP benefits entitled to his dependents. The slain officer will also be given a hero’s burial.

According to Police Regional Office 6 director, Brigadier General Rene P. Pamuspusan, the young Capt. Espanto was the team leader of the Reconnaissance Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 who clashed with NPA rebels in Barangay Aglobong in Janiuay municipality around 5:45 p.m. last Wednesday.

The officer was shot in the right portion of his head and died while being taken to the Federico Roman Tirador Sr. Memorial District Hospital for treatment, said the PRO6 director.

Pamuspusan said that the RMFB6 was conducting a major combat operation in the area when they encountered the rebels. He said that a 30-minute gunbattle erupted between the two groups before the policemen were able to maneuver to much safer grounds and bring the wounded officer to the hospital.

A member of PNP Academy ‘Lakandula’ Class of 2015, Capt. Espanto is a native of La Carlota City in Negros Occidental.