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GenSan maritime cop in clash with smugglers dies

December 02, 2019 - Monday 6:12 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image WOUNDED. Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group director (3rd from right), talks with Staff Sgt. Roger Agodania, one of the four members of the 1201st maritime police station who were wounded in a clash with suspected smugglers off a coastal village in General Santos City. REGIONAL MARITIME UNIT-12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- One of the four maritime policemen who were wounded in an encounter with a group of suspected smugglers off a coastal village here early Thursday has passed away, an official said Sunday.

Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, director of the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG), said Staff Sgt. Rodrigo Salmon died while undergoing treatment at around 5 a.m. Saturday at the intensive care unit of the Mindanao Medical Center (MMC) here.

He said the police officer, who was earlier declared in critical condition, succumbed to a gunshot wound on the head.

Elements from the 1201st maritime police station were returning to their post at the Makar port aboard a rubber boat around 4 a.m. Thursday when they were fired upon by suspected smugglers near Purok Kulasi in Barangay Labangal.

The station had launched seaborne patrol operations in parts of Sarangani Bay over reports of an incoming shipment of smuggled cigarettes from Indonesia.

Salmon and three members of his team identified as Master Sgt. Edilberto Bernardino and Staff Sgts. Roger Agodania and Edwin Tubig Jr. were wounded in the attack but reportedly managed to return fire.

Bernardino went missing after their rubber boat was hit by bullets and eventually capsized about 200 meters from the shores of Purok Kulasi.

“It was an ambush, the suspects were already waiting for them there,” Pagkalinawan said in a phone interview.

Pagkalinawan personally visited the wounded maritime policemen at the MMC here on Friday and conferred them the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting or the PNP Wounded Personnel Medal.

He also released initial financial assistance to Staff Sgts. Tubig and Agodania and Salmon’s wife. PNA