Pangasinan cop who died fighting guns-for-hire gets posthumous award

January 15, 2011 11:04 am 

STA. MARIA, Pangasinan, Jan. 15 — A posthumous award was conferred on SPO2 Roderick Ballesca, a member of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) based in Tayug who died in an encounter with suspected guns-for-hire in Barangay San Mariano, Sta. Maria in the early morning of Jan. 8.

Rep. Marlyn Agabas of the sixth district of Pangasinan did the honor in pinning the medal on Mrs. Clarita Ballesca, widow of the dead policeman, in Barangay Capandanan, Sta. Maria on Friday.

She was joined by Chief Superintendent Franklin Bucayu, police regional director; Senior Superintendent Rosueto Ricaforte, police provincial director; and Sta. Maria Mayor Teodoro Ramos.

The posthumous award carried with it Ballesca's promotion to the next higher rank.

Also awarded with the wounded police personnel medal and "Medalya ng Kagalingan" was Ballesca's colleague, PO2 Sherwin Cuenta, also of the PPSC in Tayug who was wounded in the same encounter.

Also recipients of the "Medalya ng Kagalingan" for the same incident were PO3 Rodrigo Lubiano and PO1 Medardo Dungca, members of the Sta. Maria Police Station.

The efforts of the policemen were not in vain as three of the suspected guns-for-hire were arrested in a subsequent police operation.

They were Larry Garasin, a native of Ilocos Norte who was wounded; the group's leader, Nelson Navarro; and Cesar Vergara, 28, of Poblacion East, Umingan. At-large and subject of police manhunt is Rey Sobrera.

All the suspects have been charged with murder and frustrated murder before the Regional Trial Court in Rosales. (PNA) scs/lvm/lmmicua/rma

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