By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY --- A retired policeman who stood as godfather to a newly-wed couple in the town of Cataingan in Masbate province was gunned down during the wedding reception by unidentified assailants on Monday, May 22, police reported.
Chief Inspector Albert T. Abayon, officer-in-charge of Cataingan police station, identified the victim as PO1 Michael B. Sauro, 38, who has retired early from service due to disability.
Abayon said Sauro, a former member of Regional Mobile Group of the Philippine National Police active in the counterinsurgency operation in the island province, survived an ambush staged by the New People’s Army but lost his leg.
He said the injured cop was prompted to file for total permanent disability. He started a quarrying business with the money claims he was awarded.
Abayon said Sauro was seated in front of three unidentified men wearing jackets during the wedding reception held in Barangay Nadawisan in Cataingan town at about 11:30 a.m.
He said while the reception was in progress and the retired cop was eating, one of the three unidentified men stood up and shot Sauro at close range hitting him in his forehead.
Abayon said the guests scampered to safety while the three men lingered as the commotion ensued.
He said the assailants proceeded to the parked pick-up of the victim, smashed the window, took the car keys and fled.