Friday, May 28, 2010

NPA Rebels Ambushed A Police Vehicle in Masbate, 5 Hurt

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, CamSur – A vehicle carrying eight policemen was ambushed by suspected NPA terrorist rebels who detonated a roadside bomb in Masbate at around 10:40am today, a military officer said.

Major Harold M Cabunoc, Division Spokesman, said that the police vehicle carrying 8 policemen from the 5th Regional Mobile Group, was heading towards Cataingan town when an improvised explosive device was detonated as they passed by the road in Bgy Balatucan, a secluded village in Mobo town.

The policemen fired back at the rebels who were positioned in a high ground adjacent to the road as they struggled to get out of the kill zone under heavy fires.

The police personnel were able to get out of the ambush area but 5 of their comrades sustained shrapnel wounds. One of the policemen was able to call the nearest Army detachment to request for reinforcements.

Learning about the ambush, Colonel Lope Dagoy, Commander of 85th IB based in nearby Uson town, dispatched a company of soldiers under Cpt Dennis Martinez to reinforce the beleaguered policemen.

After finding the wounded policemen in Lalaguna village of the same town, Martinez and his men transferred the casualties to another two civilian vehicles.

While traversing the road towards Masbate, more or less five rebels ambushed the soldiers and policemen at around 11:00am, resulting to a running gun battle.

The troops pursued the fleeing rebels in a fierce firefight which lasted for about 10minutes. There were no casualties in the government side during the second skirmish.

Sensing that the rebels have scampered to various directions, Martinez directed a squad of his men to immediately transport the casualties to the nearest hospital in Masbate City for treatment.

Cabunoc identified the casualties as SPO1 Angel Palmones, PO1 Ronald Imperial, PO1 Edwin Enciso, PO1 Jose Carmona, PO1 Karlo Orlain and PO1 Leon Tumbaga. They were reported to be in stable condition in a local hospital in Masbate City.

Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division has directed the AFP Special Task Force Masbate to launch massive pursuit operations together with the police units in Masbate to arrest the terrorist rebels.

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