PRO-9 MARKS 30TH DEATH ANNIV OF HERO CONSTABLES
The Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) on Monday commemorated the 30th death anniversary of Brig. Gen. Eduardo Batalla, then commander of the Regional Command-9, and Lt. Col. Romeo Abendan, his chief-of-staff, who were killed during the “Cawa-Cawa siege” in January 1989. Left photo shows the commemorative activity at Camp Abendan and right photo, the activity at Camp Batalla. (Photo courtesy: PRO-9 Public Information Office)
ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) on Monday commemorated the 30th death anniversary of two of its great officers — Brig. Gen. Eduardo Batalla and Lt. Col. Romeo Abendan –through wreath-laying and traditional 21-gun salute ceremonies.
The commemorative ceremonies were held in Camp Gen. Eduardo Batalla along R.T. Lim Boulevard; and Camp Col. Romeo Abendan, in Barangay Mercedes, this city.
Senior Supt. Narciso Verdadero, deputy regional director for operations (DRDO), led the wreath-laying ceremony and 21-gun salute held around 7 a.m. at Camp Eduardo Batalla, which was attended by personnel of PRO-9 and Regional Supports Units.
Senior Supt. Christopher Birung, regional chief directorial staff, led the ceremonies at Camp Abendan, which was attended by Abendan’s widow, Gloria, and the personnel of PRO-9 and Special Action Force (SAF) policemen.
Chief Insp. Helen Galvez, PRO-9 information officer, said the command remembered the heroic acts of Batalla and Abendan as they sacrificed their own lives in the name of peace and had shown example of heroism and valor.
Gloria expressed her heartfelt thanks to the men and women of PRO-9 for always remembering and acknowledging the heroism of her husband.
Batalla, then commander of the Philippine Constabulary in Western Mindanao, and Abendan, his chief-of-staff, along with five others were taken hostage by discharged policemen and constables – led by then Patrolman Rizal Alih – inside Batalla’s own office at the Regional Command-9 (Recom-9) headquarters on January 5, 1989 along R.T. Lim or Cawa-Cawa Boulevard.
The unfortunate incident — known as the Cawa-Cawa Siege — lasted for three days and resulted in the death of 19 people, including Batalla and Abendan, after negotiations failed.
Alih, who managed to slip out of the camp, fled to Malaysia and was arrested by Malaysian authorities in September 1994 and was charged for illegal possession of firearms.
He was extradited to the Philippines in 2006 and detained in Camp Crame. He died at the camp’s hospital on August 14, 2015.