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Rebels kill cop, wound another as they attack PNP outposts in Sorsogon

Military says more than 200 NPA fighters still operating in Bicol provinces
/ 10:05 PM October 16, 2017
Gubat town in Sorsogon province - Google Maps

Gubat town (shaded in red) in Sorsogon province (Image from Google Maps)

Published: 8:05 p.m., Oct. 15, 2017 | Updated: 10:05 p.m., Oct. 16, 2017

NAGA CITY—A policeman was killed while another was wounded in separate attacks by suspected communist rebels in the towns of Gubat and Bulan in Sorsogon province, on Sunday night.

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Police Officer 2 Ricky Ofalsa of the Gubat police identified the fatality as PO2 Dennis Garbida, who was with him, and two others manning an outpost when a group of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels arrived and fired at the outpost at 5:50 p.m.

Daring attack

Ofalsa could not say how many NPA rebels staged the daring attack in Gubat’s business district.

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“They were so many. They were all in camouflage uniform. I didn’t even know what type and how many vehicles they used,” he said.

Ofalsa said that the incident shocked the police in this southern town in Bicol region, 19 kilometers from the provincial capital of Sorsogon City.

A report from the regional police in Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City, said that the NPA rebels who attacked the Gubat outpost were on board a van and a motorcycle.

It said that NPA rebels launched another attack on a police outpost in Bulan, 62 km away from Gubat, past 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The attack wounded PO2 Dionne Cañada, the report said.

Senior Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson for the Bicol police, said the rebels who attacked the outposts an hour apart were from different groups.

She said the rebels who attacked Bulan policemen were positioned at the Bulan Central School.

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NPA strength

Capt. Joash Pramis, head of the 9th Infantry Division public affairs office, said more than 200 NPA rebels were operating in the Bicol provinces.

About 50 communist rebels operate in Sorsogon in any given time, he said.

According to Pramis, the province has one of the most active rebel groups in the region.

He said that NPA rebels had been sowing “atrocities,” like killings and harassment, in Sorsogon in the past weeks.

“In the incidents … in the towns of Gubat and Bulan in Sorsogon, we will go back to assess where lapses [happened] and prevent the [attacks from happening again],” Pramis said.

He said that the military would strengthen its information gathering, through close coordination with communities, to prepare for any attack. /atm

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TAGS: attack on Gubat town police outpost, Dennis Garbida, New People's Army
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