Brave Northern Samar cops in NPA attack honored today

THE Philippine National Police headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde today will honor the officers and men of the Victoria Municipal Police Station in Northern Samar who showed the whole world what the words “always outnumbered but never outfought” really meant when they repulsed a big band of New People’s Army guerrillas who tried to overrun their headquarter last Thursday killing three of the leftist gunmen and capturing another in the process.

A motto of the their predecessors from the defunct Philippine Constabulary, the Victoria, Northern Samar policemen headed by Lieutenant Eladio Alo stood their ground when the rebels arrived on board a commandeered truck and started firing at them. Its 15 policemen versus more than 50 heavily-armed rebels but when the smoke cleared, three of the NPA raiders are dead while two of the policemen were wounded.

Gen. Albayalde and Police Regional Office 8 director Brigadier General Dionardo B. Carlos commended the great display of bravery and courage of Alo and his men.“We would like to commend the Victoria municipal police station in Samar for showing courage. They were harassed by more or less 50 NPA rebels but they were able to repulse the attack,” said the PNP chief.

The PNP chief particularly commended the “good instinct” of the police officers on duty at the station when they went to the upper level of the building to secure a good vantage point during the gunfight.

“They occupied the high ground. They went to the second or third floor of their station and there they fought back and returned fire. Of course in any firefight, like they said, you should always occupy the high ground,” a proud Gen. Albayalde said.

Alo and his men are the latest PNP pride when it comes to display of bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, an act of courage worthy of emulation by all members of the 190,000-strong police force, said the PNP chief.

Carlos said that Alo and his men defended their station by positioning themselves in the rooftop/3rd floor of the station and firing at the guerrillas as the leftist gunmen tried to enter the police building.

Wounded during the gunbattle were Police Senior Master Sergeants Arturo Gordo and Arnold Cabacang. Gordo was hit by shrapnel from rifle grenades fired by the rebels in his nose and eyes while Cabacang suffered minor injuries in his face also due to shrapnel. Both have been declared under safe condition.

Carlos said their investigation showed that the guerrillas arrived in the town on board a commandeered truck. He said that many of the rebels dressed in military fatigues in an apparent effort to mislead the Victoria policemen into thinking they were Army troopers.

“The guerrillas used yellow strips of cloths as headbands/countersigns and several of them were noted to be women,” the Eastern Visayas police director said.

Carlos said the Victoria policemen outfought the guerrillas and even captured one of them who are now undergoing interrogation. He said the bodies of three rebels were recovered at the scene, one at the front of the police station and two others at the back of the building. One caliber M60 light machinegun and one M-14 automatic rifle were also recovered from the slain suspects.