REBELS ABDUCT 2 SURIGAO COPS

Bandera (Mindanao) - - FRONT PAGE - — John Roson

SUSPECTED members of the New People's Army abducted two policemen in Placer, Surigao del Norte,

Monday afternoon, authorities said.

PO2 Alfredo Degamon Jr. and PO2 John Paul Doverte, both beat patrollers of the Placer Police, were seized around 1:40 p.m., at their outpost along the National Highway in Brgy. Bad-as, according to a report from the Caraga regional police.

" Whileon duty, naabduct po sila sa police box... may police box po dun sa junction kasi may market, mga terminal ng jeepney at bus," SPO1 Zena Panaligan, duty officer at the regional police's public information office, told Bandera Monday night.

Armed men on board two vans carried out the abduction, forcing Degamon and Doverte into one of the vehicles, she said.

Degamon and Doverte are believed to have been taken to the mountainous area of Brgy. Mabini, also in Placer, where pursuing soldiers and policemen later found the vans abandoned, Panaligan said.

"Undetermined pa kung ilan kumuha sa kanila, mga nakasakay po kasi sa van, mga armado," she added.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman, said an estimated 20 rebels abducted the policemen.

Members of the Army's 30th Infantry Battalion and Surigao del Norte Provincial Public Safety Company were deployed for pursuit.

All police stations in the region were alerted after the incident, and intelligence operations were intensified to monitor rebel movements.

A crisis management task group led by local government officials of Placer was also activated to address the situation, Panaligan said.

Supt. Lemuel Gonda, police spokesman in neighboring Northern Mindanao, said PNP units in the region were also placed on alert because of the incident.

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