A POLICEMAN was wounded after a Composite Community Support Program (CSP) Team from Philippine Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion and Northern Samar Police Provincial Office (Nsppo) were attacked by suspected rebels in Barangay Osang, Catubig, Northern Samar.

The wounded police officer was identified as Patrolman Franklin Tangpoz Jr., who was rushed to a hospital for treatment. He is now in a stable condition.

Captain Valben Almirante, civil-military operations officer, said the team was in the area on Saturday, May 7, 2022, “to provide security measures to thwart any possible attempt to sabotage or disrupt the forthcoming national and local election.”

The team, however, was fired upon by a suspected group of communist rebels around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

According to the Army, they were attacked despite the presence of civilians in the barangay.

The rebels then retreated toward the forested area after the 10-minute firefight.

Lieutenant Colonel Joemar Buban, commanding officer of 20IB, said the suspected rebels were under the sub-regional committee Arctic.

He said the group “was reportedly implementing the permit to win and permit to campaign in the area and disrupting the electoral process but were prevented by the presence of the composite team.”

In a statement, 803rd Brigade Commander Colonel Perfecto Peñaredondo assured the public that the Northern Samar Joint Provincial Security Coordinating Center “is on top of the situation.”

He also ordered the deployment of a strike force “to track down the said group and prevent them from launching other terroristic activities.” (SunStar Philippines)