DAVAO CITY – Alleged members of the New People’s Army attacked a police station in Mati City, Davao Oriental about 7pm Sunday as the NPA heightened its offensive attacks in the region.

In a live interview with Davao-based 94.7 One Radio NewsFM, Police Senior Inspector Sergio Solaña III, the police officer on duty, said about 60-70 men aboard a truck entered the police station “and were clad in (Army) fatigue pretending to turnover two packets marked with shabu (metamphetamine).”

“But we already had information that the NPAs were set to attack us so we had been ready,” said Solaña.

Solaña said that the “vehicle they rode gave them away as Army troops don’t use unmarked vehicles.”

He said the men immediately “pointed their guns on the DO (desk officer).”

“We then remained in our rooms and locked our doors then they escorted the officer going up but he was able to jump to the room of the COP (chief of police) and locked it,” he said.

Solaña said the shooting between the men and the police then started.

Mati City Police Director Police Senior Superintendent Benito Ricopuerto said one man died but they are yet to identify if it is a member of the NPA.

He said the exchange of fire lasted for about 15 minutes, “before the rebels withdrew and left their truck.”

In a statement, Colonel Romeo S. Brawner Jr, spokeman of the Army’s Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), said that the NPAs used “one (1) elf truck (PN: RJW-626), two (2) vans and five (5) motorcycles during the attack.”

He said that the police “was able to defend initially the station and fight it out with the attacking NPA until the arrival of reinforcing mechanize troops from 701st Brigade.”

He said that an NPA member was killed and one police was wounded.

Brawner also said two Army troops were killed when “at about 8:00 in the evening, pursuing troops of 104th Division Reconnaissance Company was hit by a landmine at Sitio Magay, Martin Marundan, Mati City, Davao Oriental.”

Brawner identified the two dead soldiers as Private First Class (Pfc) Daniel Damansila, Jr. and Private Ryan M. Amigo” while “Pfc. Wil Christian Resuelo, who was wounded, died later in a hospital.”

He said that wounded Army troops are Pfc. Virgil Logronio, Pfc. Emerito Castillo, Zaldy Canonero and Pfc. Ian Mark Babiera.

Brawner said that Sergeant Adel Lucanan of Army’s 67th Infantry Battalion was killed by the NPAs in PNP uniform blocking/check point on the road along Saint Camillus Hospital.

Lieutenant General Aurelio Baladad, Commander of the Eastmincon, was quoted by Brawner as saying “the attack was meant to embarrass the government since Davao Oriental has been declared as insurgency free in 2013.”

The NPAs conducted four attacks in three different Mindanao provinces Friday.

A 10-minute skirmish transpired at about 9 o ‘clock in the morning when troops from the Special Forces were fired upon by NPA fighters in Barangay Capitan Angel, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, said Major Ezra Balagtey of Eastmincom.

Another encounter in Bukidnon occured at about 2 o’ clock in the afternoon. The fire fight ensued when troops from the 8th Infantry Battalion were fired upon by NPA in Barangay Pagan in the town of Kitaotao.

In Dominga, Calinan District, Davao City, troops from 69th Infantry Battalion also figured in a 10-minute encounter against NPA at about 3 o ‘clock in the afternoon.

In Sarangani Province troops from the 73rd Infantry Battalion encountered NPAs at So. Tinungkaan, Brgy. Tamban, Malungon, Saragani at 8 o’ clock in the morning.

No casualty was reported among the government troops and from the NPAs during these skirmishes, the Army said. (davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus