Cops on road patrol clash with suspected NPA rebels in Masbate
BACOOR CITY, Cavite-–Policemen on patrol in San Jacinto, Masbate, clashed with an undetermined number of suspected New People’s Army rebels shortly before dawn Friday.
Senior Police Officer 1 Zandro Cabintoy, spokesman of Masbate Provincial Police Office, said members of the 5th Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 2nd Maneuver Company were patrolling a forested area in Sitio Talaba, Barangay Burgos, San Jacinto when they heard a loud explosion followed by a volley of gunfire at 12:12 a.m.
He said a 30-minute exchange of gunfire ensued between the policemen led by Police Officer 1 Rommel Genopida and the communist guerrillas.
Cabintoy said investigators from the San Jacinto Municipal Police Office found 11 pieces of fired shells of a caliber 5.56 high-powered firearm, 13 pieces of fired shells of caliber 7.62 gun and two pieces fired shells of M203 in the clash site.
Police also recovered pieces of an empty softdrink can, about 300 meters of brown flat cord, three pieces of 9 mm steel bar, about one to two inches long shrapnel and several pieces of shattered orange plastic pipe believed for the improvised explosive device which exploded during the incident.
Cabintoy said it could have been a “case of harassment” that happened two days before the NPA’s celebration of its 46th founding anniversary.
He the policemen were “conducting preventive patrol in their observation post” when the encounter occurred. No one was hurt among the policemen.
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