An election officer, two police personnel, and a civilian survived an ambush Tuesday after their convoy attended a consultation in Barangay Parina, Palanas, Masbate.
The surprise attack took place “at around 11:18 a.m...prompting a gun battle that lasted for 20 minutes,” the Masbate Police said, adding that convoy members were heading toward Palanas police station.
They had just finished having a dialogue with Parina Barangay Captain Reynaldo Atibagos and other candidates, Senior Inspector Antonio Dino, officer in charge of the Police Community Relations of the Masbate Provincial Police Office, said.
The perpetrators withdrew to an unknown direction
after military reinforcements arrived, Dino added.
Initially, communist New People’s Army rebels were thought to be behind the ambush, Dino said.
However, Dino said
investigators were also not discounting the possibility that ambush could be members of a private armed group (PAG).
Those injured include election officer Merlinda F. Alvarez, Police Officers 1 Benito Bailon, and PO1 Wilbert Pultino, and Joey Villaruel.
Of the convoy members, only Senior Insp. Baltazar Valenzuela, OIC of the Palanas Municipal Police Station, was unhurt.