BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Around 50 fully armed men believed to be members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) attacked on Saturday night the local police station of Maddela town in Quirino province, leaving a police officer dead.
Witnesses said around 10:30 p.m., a firefight at the Maddela police station ensued and lasted until near midnight, killing Police Officer 2 Jerome Cardenas, also court processing officer.
Chief Insp. Avelino Cuntapay of the Quirino police community relations office said Cardenas was brought to the Maddela District Hospital, where he was declared dead.
Police said the NPA members who claimed they belong to the Venerando Villacillo Command through a text message to a police intelligence managed to break into the police station and immediately disarmed the police officers on duty and shot Cardenas.
Cardenas reportedly tried to resist and attempted to fight back when he was shot.
The witnesses said the NPA members were aboard motorcycles, two vans and a truck when they arrived and immediately fired at the police station.
Police said the rebels left, carrying with them some 13 police long and short firearms, ammunition, laptops and electronic gadgets from the police station, and drove away using an Elf truck and a Hi-Lux and Mahindra cars toward Barangay Manglad.
A report reaching the police said the NPA guerrillas along their escape route torched a 10-wheeled dump truck and the controller of a crusher in a quarry.
The equipment belonged to either RBI Jr. Construction or Triple A Company, the witnesses said.
Cuntapay said two of the policemen on duty, SPO4 Antonio Siriban and PO2 Albano, were reportedly abducted but were rescued unharmed in a village while the two police vehicles were recovered separately in the villages of Cabua-an and San Pedro villages on Sunday morning.
He said the two policemen were released unharmed and rescued around 3 a.m. in Cabua-an village as the NPA members were approaching their lair at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountain.
Police said a joint police and military operation is being conducted and they have set up checkpoints along exit points from Quirino to the provinces of Isabela, Aurora and Nueva Vizcaya.