100 communist rebels raid Misamis Oriental town-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Some 100 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in full-battle gear raided houses in a town in Kinoguitan in Misamis Oriental around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The communist rebels also set up their own checkpoints along the highways in Kinoguitan, a coastal town some 80 kilometers east of this city.
The NPA forces raided houses of known soldiers and retired law enforcers.
The local police command established a defensive position at the town municipal hall as the military established ambushed positions along the rebels’ withdrawal routes.
Kinoguitan Mayor Jojo Lagbas went on air on a local radio station here around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday confirming the attack on his town but appealed for sobriety and calmness.
Lagbas also appealed to the military and local law enforcers to refrain from staging counter-attacks against the rebels to spare civilians from possible bloodbath.
Lagbas, however, ordered the local police to defend the municipal town hall at all costs should the rebels attempt to attack the town’s seat of government.
"We will not allow them (NPA rebels) to take over the municipal town hall,’ Lagbas said.
Lagbas said the NPA raided the houses of active and retired military officers in Kinoguitan and confiscated their short firearms.
"It is obvious that the NPA knew where to go since they went directly to the houses of those military officers where they searched and seized their firearms," Lagbas said.
He said the rebels established checkpoints along the highways but did not flag down vehicles.
Lieutenant Colonel George Banzon, commander of the army’s 58th Infantry Battalion, based in Misamis Oriental, said government troopers had established counter measures in the outskirts of Kinoguitan.
Soldiers are conducting clearing operations in the hinterland villages of Misamis Oriental when the incident took place this morning, Banzon said.
He said they have mapped out countermeasures against the rebels in Kinoguitan making sure that civilians would not be caught in the crossfire.
As of press time, government forces are still monitoring the movement of the rebels in Kinoguitan believed to be still in the area.
Late last year, the NPA has laid siege a village in Claveria, another town in Misamis Oriental where they clashed with government forces.
Banzon said that the NPA rebels are waging a tactical offensive as a show of force as the midterm elections in May this year is approaching. (PNA)