CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Three police officers were wounded in a clash with about 100 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who swooped down on the town’s police station in Misamis Oriental before dawn on Sunday.
Police Senior Superintendent Rolando Destura, provincial director, said that the three police officers defended the Binuangan police station against the rebels who tried to overrun it at about 2 a.m.
The injured police officers were identified as Police Senior Inspector Dante Hallasgo, the town’s police chief; PO3 Alberto Bernadas, and PO1 Ramonito Sambas, all assigned in Binuangan, a coastal town 73 kilometers northeast of here.
Destura said that the police officers were out of danger and that an augmentation of the Philippine Army has been dispatched to track down the rebels who withdrew on a commandeered vehicle toward the hinterlands of Binuangan.
According to Destura, the police on duty sounded the station’s alarm bell when he noticed the approaching unidentified armed men who were in combat uniforms.
He said that two police vehicles and the police station’s windows were destroyed when the rebels fired indiscriminately at the precinct.
The Binuangan Police Station is near he municipal town hall. The police suspected that the rebels would also ransack the town hall after “disabling” the police station.
The rebels established blocking forces in the town boundaries of Salay in the southwest and Sugbongcogon in the northeast, stranding passenger vehicles plying the Cagayan De Oro-Butuan City route and vice versa.
Sensing defeat, the rebels commandeered a vehicle and withdrew toward the hinterland of Binuangan, an hour after the firefight.
Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano expressed alarm over the NPA attack and alerted all municipal police and officials to adopt measures to preempt another assault.
Emano said that the rebels may launch attacks anytime, anywhere in the province following Proclamation 360, declaring the termination of peace negotiations with the communist insurgents.