Zambales cops say they foiled NPA attack in Botolan
OLONGAPO CITY — Zambales policemen foiled an attack by communist rebels on a police detachment in Botolan town past midnight on Monday.
At least 20 armed men, believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA), were seen crawling toward the platoon base of the 2nd Maneuver Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) in Barangay Taugtog around 1 a.m., said SPO1 Larry Deliguin, Botolan police station investigator.
Deliguin said PPSC personnel opened fire at the armed men, forcing them to retreat.
Police said the armed men were last seen headed toward Sitio Bihawo.
No one was reported hurt.
Police said they believed the gunmen were members of the NPA, but as of late Monday afternoon, the communist rebels had neither confirmed nor denied that they were behind the attempted assault.
Deliguin said the police and Army soldiers were tracking down the armed group.
Peace talks between the government and communist rebels have been put on hold although back-channel efforts continue to try to save the negotiations.
Communist rebel leaders had given a commitment to cease attacks against government targets in Mindanao as the government troops battle with members of a homegrown terror group in Marawi City.
But rebel attacks outside Mindanao were not covered by the unilateral truce declared by rebel leaders.
Government officials, however, questioned the attacks, saying they were evidence of the lack of sincerity on the peace talks by rebels. —Allan Macatuno
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