PNP pursues rebels who killed 9 cops

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has stepped up its operation against communist insurgents following two rebel ambushes in Nothern Samar and Surigao del Sur that left nine policemen, including two officers, dead.

Short of declaring an all-out war against insurgents, PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. yesterday said that all PNP units nationwide have been alerted of possible rebel attacks.

“We are stepping up our operations,” Cruz said. “We have advanced all ground units to be vigilant and be alert on their (insurgents’) ploy.”

The PNP spokesman added that they are beefing up pursuit operations against the group of rebels that waylaid an entire police team in Catarman town in Northern Samar Saturday morning.

The police team, led by Catarman police deputy chief Senior Insp. Necasio San Antonio, was responding to a reported shooting incident when their patrol vehicle hit a rebel planted landmine.

The rebels then open fire on San Antonio and his men, who were wounded from the landmine explosion. Their patrol vehicle was a total wreck.

Eastern Visayas regional police director Chief Supt. Arnold Revilla condemned the attack staged by the rebels on his policemen, who were allegedly on a mission to investigate the killing of a village official in Brgy. Imelda.

“The patrol car was directly hit by a landmine and after which the wounded policemen were shot treacherously. Their firearms and personal belongings were taken by the terrorists,” Revilla said.

The police official added that the violent incident perpetrated by the “communist terrorists is clear manifestation of the leftist rebels to carry out terrorists acts against civilians and government troops.”

A few hours after the rebel landmine attack in Northern Samar, Insp. Christopher Mazo, the chief of police of a Lianga town in Surigao del Sur, was killed following a clash with communist rebels.

A report from the PNP’s National Operations Center said Mazo was shot in the head and was declared dead on arrival at the town hospital.  Anthony Vargas

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