2 cops killed in NPA clash

FIGHTING broke out between a group of patrolling policemen and heavily-armed New People’s Army guerrillas in Bato, Camarines Sur early yesterday morning resulting in the death of two lawmen, a Police Regional Office 5 report said.

PRO5 director Brigadier General Arnel B. Escobal said  Patrolman Prince Lagdameo and Master Sergeant Sotero Javier  wounded in the clash and were declared dead upon arrival at the Medical  Mission Group Hospital in nearby Nabua municipality.

Escobal said  the two police officers were members of the 2nd Camarines Sur Provincial Mobile Force Company who encountered some 18 NPA rebels in Barangay Payak in Bato municipality around 5 a.m. yesterday.

He said  the lawmen led by Captain Clarence Vincent Bacruya were conducting an operation at the boundary of Balatan and Bato towns when they ran into the rebels. The ensuing gunbattle between the two groups lasted for about 20 minutes, he said.

Escobal said the NPA band was believed to have suffered an undetermined number of casualties in the firefight.