By KIMBERIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The New People’s Army (NPA) acknowledged raiding a police station in Abra province on Sunday, March 12, in compliance with a national directive from its central committee.
In a statement, Martin Montana spokesperson of the Chadli Molintas Command operating in the Ilocos and Cordillera regions, said the offensive complied with the directives of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines and NPA National Operational Command in light of the all-out-war position enunciated by President Duterte in February.
Montana said that red fighters of the Agustin Begnalen Command (ABC)-NPA Abra raided the Malibcong police station at around 7:30PM and were able to take control of the station for more than an hour. He said the raiding NPA unit was able to retreat unharmed taking with them six M16 rifles, three pistols, an M203 grenade launcher, bullets, rifle grenades, ammunition vests and uniforms.
Police earlier reported that the temporary police station in Malibcong was attacked by NPA rebels around 7:30 PM last Sunday March 12. At around 11:00AM the following day, March 13, a platoon of police officers on convoy led by Abra director PSSupt Alexander Tagum who were on their way to Malibcong “to investigate the attack on the police station was ambushed”. Five police officers that include PO2 Jessie Trinidad, PO2 Marlon dela Paz, PO1 Gerome Baldos, PO1 Kennon Sanggoy at PO1 Von Harold Layao were wounded in the said ambush.
PROCor awarded the five wounded police officers with the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting and additional financial medical assistance.
Montana said the offensive was also in response to the complaints they received from Malibcong folk against police officers who violated the people’s rights in their implementation of “operation tokhang”. He said they have received complaints not just from Malibcong but also from other towns of Abra.
In a separate statement, Diego Wadagan, spokesperson of the ABC-NPA Abra acknowledged that one of their units ambushed Tagum’s convoy in Malibcong on March 13.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement issued on Saturday in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Philippine government and NDFP representatives, agreed that indefinite unilateral ceasefire declarations would be issued before the fourth round of talks on April 2-7.
There has not been a ceasefire declaration from both sides yet. # nordis.net