Misamis Occidental prov’l police denies NPA assault

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014


THE police provincial office in Misamis Occidental denied on Tuesday reports that New People's Army (NPA) rebels assaulted a police station in Bonifacio town in Misamis Occidental on Monday afternoon, hours after the attack in Matanao town in Davao del Sur on Monday dawn.

“It was never an ambush,” said Senior Superintendent Archival Macala, PPO-Misamis Occidental chief.

Macala, however, said that an encounter between the 55th Infantry Battalion troops based in Barangay Burgos in Oroquieta City and the rebels killed a soldier and injured five others.

Macala said the army and the City Public Safety Company (CPSC) were conducting operations in Mapurol, a hinterland village in the boundaries of Bonifacio and Tangub City, when they clashed with the rebels.

The military and the police launched the operation as part of intensifying security in the area in response to the order of the Philippine National Police’s regional office based in Camp Alagar following the attack in Matanao.

Macala said authorities in Misamis Occidental are on full alert following the Monday afternoon’s skirmish.

But he added that part of Camp Alagar’s directives is conducting a crackdown on the rebels who initiate guerrilla actions in the province.

“That’s why sa area natin sa region 10, wala silang ma-harass. It is saddening to note ‘yong nangyari sa Davao (del Sur),” Macala said.

He said the provincial command is doing surprise inspections at police stations to ensure that policemen on duty are alert against any forms of attacks.

‘Soft targets’

The Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Camp Evangelista has said police stations are on the rebel group’s crosshairs, considered as “soft targets” for harassment and grabbing of weapons and ammunitions.

Macala said all police stations in the province are directed to stay on strengthened defense position.

He said the rebels whom they encountered lately could be the same group who harassed a police station in Don Victoriano Chiongbian town in Misamis Occidental in December 2013, where they disarmed the policemen on duty and ransacked the station’s armory and carted away several high-caliber firearms.

The heavily armed guerrillas were supposed to attack another police station in Josefina town, but were foiled by the responding troops.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 12, 2014.

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