MADDELA, Quirino—A policeman was killed when some 50 communist guerrillas onboard motorcycles, two vans and a truck stormed a police station in this remote town Saturday night.
The firefight, which began at 10:30 p.m., lasted until midnight.
The fatality was identified by witnesses as PO2 Jerome Cardenas, who was the court processing officer of the station.
“They wore camouflage uniforms, we thought the Army and the police were fighting,” said one of four inmates occupying the prison cell inside the station.
Bullet holes could be seen all over the building’s façade.
“It was like New Year’s Eve. Hours of loud automatic gunfire kept us awake the whole night,” said an internet shop owner in the nearby public market.
Before the police could issue an official statement, the communist New People’s Army handed its version of events to a Bombo Radyo reporter.
“The tactical offensive is a response to the demands for justice be given to the terrorist Duterte regime,” the NPA said in Filipino.
The NPA accused the 86th Infantry Battalion of camping in school buildings, which led to a cancellation of classes.
Witnesses confirmed an earlier report that PCI Jhun-Jhun Balisi, OIC station chief of Maddela PNP, SPO4 Antonio Siriban and PO2 Albano were “abducted” by the NPA. However, they were released unharmed when the rebels reached their lair at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountains.
In Davao City, the Davao City Police Office held 14 suspected members of the NPA posing as security guards of the Lapanday Foods Inc. while two still unidentified bodies believed to be rebels were recovered by the military during pursuit operations since Saturday.
The suspects were tracked by the pursuing army troops in Buhangin on Saturday afternoon near Tigatto where the NPA rebels could have exited after attacking Lapanday early morning on Saturday. They were immediately turned over by the army troops to the police for investigation. With PNA
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