NPA rebel who led attack on Mati police station arrested – Army
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines – A ranking communist rebel who allegedly led the bloody attack in Mati City, Davao Oriental, has been captured, the military said on Tuesday.
Lt. Vergel Lacambra, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said Prince Wendel Olofernes alias Doy or Edoy was caught in Barangay (village) Taguibo around 6:30 p.m. Monday, by government troops conducting pursuit operations against New People’s Army guerrillas who had stormed Mati City police station the night before.
Olofernes, who was caught still on military fatigues, is the alleged commander of the NPA’s Front 18 Sentro de Gravidad (Center of Gravity) unit that assaulted the police station in Madang village on Sunday night, according to Lacambra.
Five people — four soldiers and an insurgent identified as Brian Alonzo alias Sim — were killed and several others, mostly government troops, were wounded during the 7:30 p.m. attack and subsequent running gun battle between the rebels and the Army’s 701st Infantry Brigade.
Policemen were able to repel the assault, but the rebels detonated a landmine, hitting the reinforcing Army troops that killed the soldiers.
Alonzo was Olofernes’ alleged deputy, said Lacambra.
The arrested rebel served as the leader of one of the NPA platoons during the raid, and had become a front leader when the former commander identified as Jordan Donillo, was arrested in Compostela Valley last December, said Lacambra.
The military spokesperson said various charges were readied against Olofernes and his comrades in connection with the foiled attack.
Maj. General Eduardo Año, 10th ID commander, vowed to avenge the soldiers’ deaths by hunting down “the lawless armed elements.”
“We will make sure the sacrifices of our brave soldiers who perished in the defense of Mati City would not be put to waste,” Año said.
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