The Philippine National Police (PNP) will fete the police officer who died after using his body to shield the crowd from a grenade blast inside a college campus in Initao, Misamis Oriental.
PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, said the PNP is recommending to give the posthumous award of Medalya ng Kadakilaan in recognition of Police Master Sgt. James Magno’s heroic death.
“He did not die in vain. His death gave new meaning to the undying line in the PNP Hymn ‘ihandog ang iisang buhay’ which is exactly what Magno did,” said Gamboa who visited Magno’s wake on Sunday.
Magno, 46, is a trained Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialist who was among the first responders at the scene when a man armed with a knife and grenade barged inside the school grounds.
Magno, a member of the Initao municipal police station, died along with Ibrahim Basher, 65, the carrier of a hand grenade that exploded in the covered court of Initao College.
Magno used his body to shield the crowd from the blast effects of the grenade and died on the spot.
At least 10 students were injured and brought to the hospital. Magno’s colleague, Senior Master Sergeant Alice Balido, was also brought to a hospital after sustaining injuries during the explosion.
“Magno, Balido and countless other police heroes who came before them, are imbued with the same patriotism of Bonifacio and our national heroes who died for our country,” Gamboa said.
The surviving kin of Magno will receive death benefits which include PHP250,000 from the President’s social fund, PHP141,000 from the special financial assistance from the PNP, burial benefits worth PHP50,000 and PHP200,000 gratuity from the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
Gamboa also visited Balido in the hospital. Balido was awarded Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting (PNP Wounded Medal). (Christopher Lloyd Caliwan, PNA)