DAVAO CITY – A member of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) assigned at the Intelligence Section of the Tugbok Police Station was shot dead by two suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who asked for a free ride Monday morning in Barangay Valencia, Tugbok District, this city.

The victim, PO3 Wilfredo Garol, 34 and a resident of Rubber Village in Calinan, earlier transported his wife, a teacher, to school in Valencia on board his motorcycle.

On his way back, the two suspects flagged him and asked for a free ride.

But when they reached Purok 5 at Sitio Luman, Valencia the gunmen shot Garol several times resulting to his death.

Davao City chief of police Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum suspected the gunmen were members of the NPA liquidation unit.

He, however, vowed that Garol’s death will be investigated thoroughly to identify those behind the treacherous killing.

His death, Tagum stressed, will not deter the police in their commitment to an intensified fight against all forms of domestic threats posed by communist rebels or criminals.

Tagum said the incident should also serve as a strong warning to all personnel of DCPO that they cannot afford to relax their personal security because “it will cause them their lives.”

“We accept the danger of our chosen vocation but we will not allow his killers go unpunished. We will go after them with full might of the law,” Tagum vowed.

Tagum said giving free rides to a stranger should not be entertained, as he recalled an old reminder of parents to children.

“Never talk to strangers goes in the same line that you don’t give rides to hitchhikers who are unknown to you,” he said.

“I have told my people, lower your guard and you are dead,” he said.

The killing of Garol also earned condemnation from Police Regional Office (PRO) XI Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan.

“I condemn the senseless and cowardly attack and killing of PO3 Wilfredo Garol by suspected LAGS (lawless armed group). He was a good public servant, police officer and loving husband,” Gaerlan said.

Gaerlan confirmed that Garol was shot by NPA hitmen after the police officer dropped his wife to work.

Gaerlan said the act is a manifestation that the NPA, as well as other communist front organizations, have no regard for human rights and International Humanitarian Law.

This is not the first time the NPA hitmen prey on members of the police and security forces.

Earlier, the 10th Infantry Division vowed not to let their guards down after the series of offensives launched by the NPA.

As of August, the military recorded death of six soldiers and a police in Davao region.

The NPA liquidation squad was suspected behind the spate of killings that was reportedly activated after military launched operations against them.

Killed members of the military and police were two soldiers under the 71st Infantry Battalion (IB) in Compostela Valley Province; two from the 67th IB in Davao Oriental; a member of the Scout Ranger; and a police officer in Davao del Norte. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)