SIX members of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) were wounded in an attack staged by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay San Jose in Antipolo City on Sunday while a Philippine Army lieutenant and four soldiers were injured in a roadside bombing by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.
The SAF commandos were patrolling a remote area of Sitio San Jose when the armed rebels opened fire at their two vehicles convoy.
Wounded were Police Officers 2 Brendo Cariño, Reymar Guevarra, Mark Andre Bwela, Joseph Alberca, Ryan Gonzales and Gran Huminis, all members of Philippine National Police-SAF 33rd Special Action Company of the Third Special Action Battalion.
They were brought to hospitals in Rizal province and Marikina City for treatment from gunshot wounds.
The rebels were reportedly positioned on higher ground giving them a vantage point from which to fire at the SAF convoy.
Two commandoes who were reported missing immediately after the ambush came out of hiding when government reinforcements arrived making all SAF members in the convoy accounted for.
Bombing in Maguindanao
Meanwhile, an Army lieutenant and four soldiers were wounded in a roadside bombing in Datu Unsay town that the BIFF owned up to.
Police identified the wounded Army soldiers as 1Lt. Jano Cyril Reyes, team leader; Privates First Class Maguncia, Purol, Crispo, (driver) and Private Ramirez, all personnel of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion (57IB).
Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, Police Regional Office for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-ARMM) director, quoting a spot report from the Maguindanao Provincial Police Office, said that an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded on the bridge in Barangay Meta, Datu Unsay as the Army’s KM-150 truck was traversing it.
Abu Misry Mama, speaking for the Islamic State-inspired BIFF, admitted his group was behind the roadside bombing in retaliation for the series of offensives the Army launched against the BIFF in the towns of Datu Salibo, Datu Unsay and Datu Saudi Ampatuan.
The blast site along the national highway is about 800 meters away from the detachment of the 57IB Alpha Company.
The PRO-ARMM said the provincial office is now helping the military in identifying the perpetrators even as the BIFF spokesman already admitted that their group carried out the bombing.