February 1, 2023

The Police Regional Office-Cordillera honored slain Igorot police officer, Col. Michael Bawayan Jr., when his remains were flown from Zamboanga to the Loakan Airport in Baguio on Aug. 10.  
Bawayan, 49, was brought to their residence in Barangay Brookside where the wake was held. 
Bawayan, who served as the provincial police director of Sulu and a native of Sagada, Mountain Province, was shot to death by S/Sg. Imran Jilah who was reprimanded by the former for his long hair on Aug. 6.
Jilah, 43, was killed on the spot by one of the security aides of Bawayan, who fired back at the suspect.
Sagada has declared an eight-day period of mourning from Aug. 9 to 16 in honor of the slain officer. 
Mayor James Pooten Jr. extended his sympathies to the family of Bawayan with the municipality’s flags on half mast during the period.
“Col. Bawayan, as supported by the testimonies of his colleagues, was an exemplary individual with a consistently reliable work ethic, who tried to institute values of excellence, proper discipline, and positive change to law enforcement in his jurisdiction,” Pooten said.
Bawayan, a member of the Philippine National Police Academy Class of 1996, was installed as Sulu Police Provincial Office director in March 2020. 
“We pray such tragedy would not be repeated and that we learn to set aside any differences, as we work as one in maintaining peace and order in our communities during this global health crisis,” Pooten added.
A mass was held at the Resurrection Church in Magsaysay, Baguio City on Aug. 14 before Bawayan’s remains were brought to Pyramid Memorial Park in Buyagan, Poblacion, La Trinidad Benguet for funeral.
The Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao was ordered to create a special investigation task group and the Criminal Investigation, and Detection Group to conduct a separate investigation into the shooting. – Ofelia C. Empian