Davao Oriental town police chief seized, cop hurt in NPA attack
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte — Suspected communist rebels attacked the police station in the coastal town of Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, on Sunday, abducting the town police chief and wounding a policeman, authorities said on Monday.
The attackers who swooped down on the police station arrived on board an Elf truck and two pickup trucks, immediately firing at the facility around 8 p.m., said Senior Supt. Harry Espela, Davao Oriental police chief.
Espela said the rebels also abducted the town police chief, Chief Insp. Arnold Ongachen.
Officers manning the station fought back but were overwhelmed as they ran out of ammunition, the police official said. A policeman, PO3 Johnray Cinco, was wounded in the firefight.
“He (Ongachen) was at his quarters when the rebels arrived and immediately fired at the station,” Espela told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by mobile phone.
The attackers then proceeded to the station’s armory and carted away an undetermined number of weapons, bullets and other valuables, before fleeing.
Three policemen were still unaccounted for as of Monday morning and Army troops have been conducting pursuit operations, said Capt. Rhyan Batchar, 10th Infantry Division spokesperson.
At least 40 gunmen were involved in the attack.
Espela said the vehicles used in the attack were recovered early on Monday.
“There were fresh bloodstains on one of the vehicles so there could also be casualties among the attackers,” he said, adding police and Army reinforcements had to be brought in by boat as the rebels had set up blockades and planted landmines along the national highway to Governor Generoso (also known as Sigaboy). The eastern coastal town is more than 50 kilometers from the provincial capital of Mati.
The rebels escaped towards the direction of Barangay (Village) Luzon, also in Governor Generoso. SFM/rga
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