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PNP probes deadly ambush of BuCor staff in Leyte

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) is digging deeper into the ambush incident Monday noon in Abuyog, Leyte that killed three Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) personnel and seriously wounded the former chief of the Leyte regional prison.

The former prison head, Sr. Supt. Geraldo Aro, 55, suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the ambush in Cadac-an village, Abuyog town at around noon Monday, just a few hours after the turnover of command ceremony at the prison facility.

PNP Leyte provincial office spokesperson Supt. Alberto Renomeron, Jr. said the victims were heading to Tacloban airport on board the BuCor service vehicle when they noticed two closed vans tailing them. One of the vans blocked them and the unidentified gunmen fired at their vehicle.

Killed on the spot were Leyte regional prison executive secretary Jelanie Almario, Corrections Officer 3 (CO 3) Nelson Padagdag, and CO 1 Randy Pantano. CO 1 Uldarico Mortiso also survived the ambush that took place 15 kilometers from the colony. Aro is being treated in an undisclosed hospital in Tacloban.

“The police is looking into various angles on the motive of ambush, but we cannot give further comments since in-depth investigation is still ongoing,” Aro said.

The incident occurred after Aro formally turned over the post to Supt. Danilo Dador Monday morning on orders of Bucor Director Ronald de la Rosa.

Aro, who has been assigned as Leyte regional colony head since 2013, was supposed to take the post as head of the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental.

Established on Jan. 16, 1973, the Leyte regional prison is situated 66 kilometers from Tacloban City, the regional capital. The colony is within a 861.66-hectare forested area, 20 kilometers south from Abuyog town center.

Currently, the facility has more than 1,900 inmates, more than double than its capacity. The penal colony was built to confine and rehabilitate convicted criminals classified as national prisoners whose sentences range from three years imprisonment or above. (PNA)