3 hurt, 2 jail guards captured by NPA in Surigao del Sur
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – At least three persons were wounded and two personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) were captured by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in their attempt to rescue comrades who were on their way to attend a court hearing in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, on Monday morning.
Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, deputy chief of the 4th Infantry Division’s Public Affairs Office, said members of the BJMP from the provincial jail of Surigao del Sur, were transporting two suspected communist leaders from Tandag City to attend a hearing at the Regional Trial Court in Lianga town when they were fired upon by NPA rebels in Barangay (village) Amontay, Marihatag town at 7:45 a.m. Monday.
The detainees were identified as Robert Rivas and Jojean Alameda who were arrested in a checkpoint manned by Scout Rangers and local police forces in Diatagon, Lianga, last February 13.
A firefight ensued, which resulted in the injury of two BJMP personnel and Rivas, Martinez said.
“They were evacuated to Adela Serra Ty Memorial Hospital in Tandag City,” Martinez added.
The rebels were successful in rescuing Alameda but they also brought with them two BJMP personnel identified as SO2 Juan Salazar and SO2 Feliciano Polan.
Martinez said the NPA also carted away two M4 rifles, four 9mm pistols and a .45 pistol.
Simultaneously, a separate group of communist guerrillas conducted a checkpoint along the highway of Sitio Kawilan in Barangay Antipolo, only 10 kilometers away from the scene of the incident.
A container van owned by DOLE Stanfilco, which was on its way to Tago town from Davao City, was flagged down and torched by the rebels, Martinez, said.
Col. Isidro Purisima, commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade, has already directed government forces in the area to conduct pursuit operations in possible withdrawal areas. SFM
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