4 cops wounded in NPA attacks
AT least four policemen were wounded in what appears to be a failed attempt of about 100 communist insurgents to overrun the town police station in Binuangan, Misamis Oriental, over the weekend, as duty policemen fought hard in defense.
Police said the group who launched the attack were members of the New Peoples Army’s (NPA) Guerilla Front 4B led by a
certain Manuelito `Ka Musong’ Satur and alias Jakem; and Platoon ADA led by Oscar Romania alias Amboy and Platoon PPH led by Alias Makong Mansigyaw.
Police said the NPA fighters flagged down motorists and staged road blocks and subsequently launched the attacks at the police around 3:00 a.m., Sunday. The exchange of fire lasted nearly three hours.
Wounded in action are the Binuangan town police chief Senior Inspector Dante Hallazgo, Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Ramonito Zambas, Police Officer 3 (PO3) Alberto Bernadas and Police Officer 1 (PO1) Joshua Satur.
Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), said the wounded policemen sustained shrapnel wounds from an M203 rifle grenade.
He said only Bernadas was confined at the hospital as the rest were already in stable condition.
Gonda said the NPA combatants, now tagged by the state forces as terrorists, failed to seize the firearms of the policemen who bravely fought hard to defend the station.
Gonda said the Maoist guerillas pulled back and withdrew from the area onboard two forward trucks.
“Possibly, the NPA rebels have forcibly taken or carnapped 2 forward trucks as get away vehicles,” Gonda said.
Authorities believed that the police scores casualties from the fleeing enemies as blood stains were seen at the withdrawal route.
Recovered from the site were monotov bombs, three M203, two garsole grenade and fully loaded magazine of AK47 and subversive documents.
The police and the military are currently conducting pursuit operations against the NPA responsible for the attack.
Gonda said the PRO-10 has been anticipating NPA offensives following the termination of the peace talks.
But, he said all police stations and units have been on alert to ward off all NPA attacks and offensives.
`Kung nagtulog-tulog `tong mga police dili gyud to sila kabalos. Mando man nga mangandam ug magbantay ang atong kapolisan (If they were sleeping, they could have not retaliated. The police were ordered to be on alert always),” Gonda said.
Chief Superintendent Timoteo Pacleb, PRO-10 regional director, has ordered lower units to strengthen target hardening and security measures and to maintain the “will to fight” to defend their post at all cost.
Pacleb immediately visited the encounter site and checked the condition of the policemen whom he commended for a job well done.
Meanwhile, the NPA’s East Misamis Oriental North Eastern Bukidnon Sub-regional command, owned up the attack of the Binuangan town police station.
In its statement, the NPA said the incident was a reminder to the government forces and the Duterte administration that the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is unfazed of the `all out war’ and the martial law which for them victimizes the powerless masses.
The NPA insists that the group responsible for the attack are now safe with zero casualty.
On the other hand, the army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said the failed terror attack is a big slap to the NPA leadership.
“We condemn the terrorists’ courses of action when they used the civilian properties such as vehicles along the highway and the nearby houses as their shield. This is a clear and undeniable proof that they really don’t care about the safety of the masses. All they wanted to do is to sow fear to advance their terroristic activities that are aimed to make people suffer,” the military said.
Government troops maintained that the NPA may strike more assaults following the end of the peace negotiations.
“That is why we have fortified and alerted all our units, strengthened the support with all government forces to foil any attempt of attack, and launched our operations to crash this terror group down,” the 4ID statement said, adding “It is expected that the NPA’s Komisyon Mindanao (KOMMID) will undertake terror attacks in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon to relieve the pressure it is now experiencing in the province of Surigao del Sur where constant community support are conducted.”