TACLOBAN

Borongan ambush death toll rises to 3

THE death toll from the ambush in Borongan City, Eastern Samar climbed to three, as two civilians were confirmed dead along with a policeman.

Local officials in Eastern Samar have condemned the attack.

As of Saturday evening, December 14, no New People's Army (NPA) unit in the region has claimed responsibility for the ambush.

The Police Regional Office (PRO)-Eastern Visayas confirmed the death of Patrolman Mark Jerome Rama and civilians Agripena Traboco, 69, and Anthony Balayanto, 50.

Rama was among the seven personnel of the 1st Eastern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company (Espmfc) who were ambushed by suspected communist rebels around 3 p.m. Friday, December 13, in Barangay Libutan.

The two civilian fatalities were declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

Four policemen and 11 civilians, including minors, were wounded.

The wounded policemen were identified as Patrolman Angelito Loterte, who suffered from left leg injury; Patrolman Rick Capoquian, with right eye injury; Patrolman Rey Sobrepenia, with head injury; and Patrolman Kevin Operario, who was seriously wounded.

Patrolman Christian Godino and Patrolman Michael Frank Pajanustan were unharmed, PRO-8 said in a statement.

The 11 wounded civilians who were caught in the crossfire were identified as Jacob Chicano, 35; Marrian Esposa, 20; Carlito Esposa, 65; Mark Balayanto Cantos, 18; Florence Traboco, 39; Mary Grace Rapada, 44; Ma. Lilisania Obina, 34; Hector Lemer Obina, 35; and three minors ages 1, 6 and 13 years old.

The policemen, who are based in Dolores town in Eastern Samar, were on their way to the provincial headquarters in Borongan when they were ambushed by around 50 suspected NPA rebels, said Lieutenant Colonel Ma. Bella Rentuaya, PRO-Eastern Visayas spokesperson.

“I am encouraging the public to be more vigilant and to continue in helping the authorities in condemning such treacherous attack to wreak havoc in the region and to stop unlawful killings of the civilians," Brigadier General Ferdinand Divina, police regional director, said.


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