4 cops wounded in NPA at­tacks

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By Al­wen Salir­ing

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.”

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