4 cops wounded while defending station from NPA rebels

DAVAO CITY — Four police officers were wounded when New People’s Army rebels attacked their station in Binuangan, Misamis Oriental, some 72 kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro City, on Sunday dawn.

Initial report of the PNP regional office in Cagayan de Oro said around 60 armed men attacked the police station, wounding SPO1 Ramonito Zambas, PO3 Alberto Bernadas, PO1 Joshua Satur and Senior Insp. Dante Hallazgo.

The wounded were hit by shrapnel from a grenade fired from an M203 launcher.
The police officers were able to fight back, preventing the rebels from getting firearms from the police station.

Chief Supt. Timoteo Pacleb, police director for Northern Mindanao, praised the policemen for successfully defending their station.

In a statement, Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said the failed attack was a big slap to the communist leadership.

Villanueva said the policemen were able to stand their ground during the attack because of the timely report from the civilians in the area.

but He condemned the rebels for using civilian properties, such as vehicles along the highway and the nearby houses, to shield themselves.

“This is a clear and undeniable proof that they really do not care about the safety of the masses,” Villanueva said. “All they wanted to do is to sow fear to advance their terroristic activities that are aimed to make people suffer.”

Villanueva said they expect more attacks after the President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

“That is why we have further fortified and alerted all our units, strengthened the support with all government forces to foil any attempt of attack, and launched our operations to crash this terror group down,” he said.

In a text message to journalists, the NPA said: “This [attack] should serve as a reminder to the police, military and the Duterte regime that the NPA does not fear of his (Duterte) threat of all-out war and martial law whose victims are the hapless civilians.”

The NPA said the unit responsible for the attack was the East Misamis Oriental Northeastern Bukidnon Subregional Command.
It added that the NPA did not suffer any casualties.