Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday joined Philippine National Police (PNP) officials in the observance of the 19th death anniversary of then Brig. Gen. Eduardo Batalla and his chief of staff Col. Romeo Abendan.
Lobregat, along with District I Congresswoman Beng Climaco took part in the wreath laying rites at the Abendan monument in Camp Abendan in Mercedes yesterday morning. The commemoration rite, spearheaded by PNP Regional Commander Gen. Jaime Caringal, reeled off with an early morning mass at Camp Batalla at the Regional Command headquarters in Cawa-cawa.
The occasion marked the day when Gen. Batalla and Abendan along with five other people, were taken hostage by renegade policemen led by Rizal in Batalla’s own office at the Recom-9 headquarters in Cawa-cawa. The military launched an attack at the headquarters but Alih managed to escape and sought refuge in Malaysia . He was believed to have died in the attack until authorities caught up with him in Malaysia for illegal possession of firearms.
He was deported to the Philippines in January 2006 and is now detained at the Bicutan Jail and is awaiting trial.
Lobregat said people should remember the heroism of the two police officials and others who were caught in the crossfire in that January 5, 1989 incident in Cawa-cawa.
The two officials, he stressed, sacrificed their lives for the safety of their men and other people at the then Recom-9 headquarters.
Also present during the affair yesterday were Zamboanga City Police Office commander Col. Manuel Barcena and other police officials in the region. — SEC