Sunday, April 26, 2020

Alleged NPA gunmen wound cop, LGU official in Masbate attack

From GMA News Online (Apr 25, 2020): Alleged NPA gunmen wound cop, LGU official in Masbate attack

A police officer and a local government official were wounded after alleged Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army gunmen attacked a police vehicle Friday afternoon in Masbate's Monreal town.

According to a Saturday statement from the Philippine National Police, Department of Social Welfare and Development officials and LGU employees were heading back after distributing Social Amelioration Program aid in a local community when they were shot at by unidentified suspects along the boundary of Barangays Real and Rizal.

Police Corporal Romel A. Bartola was hit on the left side of his head and back, while LGU employee Ricky Canares was shot in the back.

The victims were rushed to the rural health unit for medical treatment and both were in stable condition.

The PNP strongly condemned the “inhumane and treacherous” attack by the CPP-NPA against the police officers and civilians who were merely performing their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The attack was likewise condemned by the Philippine military, with Joint Task Force Bicolandia and 9th Infantry Division commander Major General Fernando Trinidad calling the ambush a “dastardly act.”

Trinidad added that the shooting was a desperate attempt by the NPA to demonstrate that they could still launch attacks despite the heavy casualties and losses they suffered during recent encounters with elements of the 2nd Infantry Battalion.

According to the military, the NPA suffered severe casualties during an April 19 clash in Barangay Salvacion, during which 16 high powered guns, anti-personnel mines, and different subversive equipment and supplies were seized.

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