3 cops wounded in clash with rebels in Iloilo town

By Cindy Ferrer

August 24, 2018, 6:53 pm

ILOILO CITY -- Three officers of the 1st Iloilo Police Provincial Mobile Force Company (IPPMFC) were wounded in a clash with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the village of Carolina, Leon, Iloilo on Friday.

In an interview, Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, Iloilo police director, identified the wounded as Chief Insp. Abner Jordan, platoon leader of the mobile force; Police Officer (PO) 2 Rosenie Libuna; and PO1 Mark Ringo Fernando.

He said the policemen sustained minor injuries and were not even hospitalized.

Tayaba said the IPPMFC group was conducting a major operation in the area at 6:50 a.m. when they encountered about 20 rebels. He said the firefight lasted 20 minutes.

Tayaba said the rebels even used a landmine as a “desperate measure” to hold off the policemen so they could flee.

Two rebels were also wounded based on information they received from civilians in the area, he said. “They were carrying these two (wounded) while escaping,” he said.

Recovered from the encounter site were a .45-caliber pistol with seven live ammunition, 36 empty M16 rifle shells, 12 empty M14 rifle shells, electric wires, pin light, and batteries.

Tayaba said the mobile force conducted a major operation as there have been sightings of rebels in the area in the past days, causing fear among residents, especially children.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office 6 (Western Visayas) condemned the encounter in Leon town.

In a statement, PRO-6 Director Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said the use of landmine by the NPA is a gross violation of Republic Act No. 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and otherCrimes Against Humanity, as well as the Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use of landmines, whether improvised or not.

“We emphasized that the government is firm in upholding law and order throughout the country,” he said. “All those who sow chaos and bloodshed and other terrorist acts will have to face the consequences of their actions.”

Despite the encounter, Bulalacao assured that they will never relent in their drive to make criminals accountable for their crimes.

He enjoined the public to be more vigilant and report all crimes committed by the rebels.

Meanwhile, he urged the terrorists to “cease in their evil acts, to reform and return to the folds of law, embrace the harmony of a peaceful family life, and do their share in nation building.”

The encounter here took place more than a week after the San Jose, Antique clash where seven rebels were killed by government troops. (PNA)