HEAVILY-ARMED New People’s Army guerrillas yesterday overran an Army-militia patrol base in Kalinga province, reportedly killing the detachment commander and abducting 14 militiamen after stealing all their weapons and ammunition.
Initial reports said the rebels attacked the Army-Citizens Armed Auxiliary patrol base in Barangay Uma, Lubuagan town around 6 a.m. yesterday and shot dead the detachment commander and seized 14 other militiamen after stealing 31 automatic rifles and hundreds of live ammunition.
Latest reports said the guerrillas eventually freed the militiamen.
Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has ordered all police forces nationwide to closely coordinate with the military their ongoing counter-offensive against the guerrillas.
He also called on his men to take all necessary precautions and double their camp security to prevent more NPA attacks.
The incident came four days after around 80 NPA gunmen overrun an Army-militia patrol base in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur where they stole nearly two dozen high-powered rifles and seized two soldiers and 12 militiamen.
The rebels also stole 17 units of 5..56 M-16 automatic rifles, four 7.62mm M-14 rifles, two 5.56mm R4 rifles, one 7.62mm M60 machinegun and a Harris Handheld radio during the attack which is now the subject of a thorough investigation by the Armed Forces.
The rebels led by one Commander Momoy and Commander Dongkoy occupied the patrol base located in Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat town after troops manning it did not offer any resistance after seeing the huge number of gunmen 3 in the morning. Among those abducted by the gunmen were Corporal Eric Manangan and Private First Class Darlino Cariño.
The Agusan del Sur incident came barely two days after police repelled simultaneous attacks launched by NPA rebels in Bicol region. Officers engaged the attackers in heavy gunbattles which left three policemen and one civilian wounded, Police Regional Office 5 director, Chief Superintendent Arnel B. Escobal said.
The attacks came days after the Communist Party of the Philippines declared a unilateral ceasefire which takes effect 12:01 a.m. of December 24 until 11:59 p.m. of December 26; and from 12:01 a.m. of December 31, to 11:59 p.m. of January 1, 2019.
The CPP will observe its 50th founding anniversary on December 26, a day in which the CPP’s armed wing, the NPA are known for mounting surprise attacks on lightly-guarded government installations and other targets.
However, the Duterte government has yet to declare its own holiday truce with the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces leaderships refusing to recommend a similar declaration.