DAVAO CITY – The New People’s Army on Saturday, April 16 took five police officers and seized 20 firearms in separate incidents in Paquibato district, here.

In a statement, Rigoberto Sanchez, NPA spokesperson said a unit of the 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion captured five Philippine National Police officers aboard a mobile patrol vehicle and took them as prisoners-of-war at around 11:30 am.

The PNP officers are Police Chief Inspector Leonardo V. Tarungoy, PO3 Rosenie L. Cabuenas, PO3 Rudolph Y. Pacete, PO2 Neil C. Arellano, and PO3 Abdul Azis A. Ali. The NPA also seized two 9mm pistols and one .45 caliber pistol from the policemen.

“The POWs will be held in custody pending an investigation for possible war crimes and other crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement,” Sanchez said.

Meanwhile, Sanchez said the NPA seized 17 firearms in a raid on the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion detachment in Sitio Quimanao, Barangay Salapawan at 7:00 am on Saturday.

“The NPA seized nine garand rifles, eight M14 rifles, 78 clips of garand ammunition, 30 fully loaded M14 magazines and other military hardware,” said Sanchez.

“By sheer grit and superior command of the situation, the Red fighters were able to take control of the firefight that lasted less than half an hour. Two members of Civilian Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) surrendered to the raiding Red Fighters while two others fled during the firefight,” he added.

Sanchez said the NPAs tactical offensive comes at the heels of the AFP’s  declaration that the government’s counter insurgency plan, Oplan Bayanihan, has weakened the armed resistance following the death of  NPA Commander Leoncio “ Ka Parago” Pitao last year. (davaotoday.com)

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