HEAVILY-ARMED New People’s Army guerrillas launched a series of attacks in Talakag, Bukidnon on Wednesday robbing several civilians and injuring two government troops in an ensuing firefight, the Police Regional Office 10 reported yesterday.
Bukidnon Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Roel Lami-ing said that wounded in the clash in Sitio Dungawon Tinaytayan in Barangay San Miguel in Talakag municipality were one Private First Class Sarez of the Army’s Special Forces and militiaman Exar Libugan.
Sarez and Libugan were among the members of the 1st Special Forces Battalion based in Kibangay, Lantapan, Bukidnon who rushed to Talakag following reports of the NPA atrocities only to be met with heavy gunfire from the rebels.
Lami-ing said that members of the 1004th Regional Mobile Force Battalion based in Bgy. Tagbak in Talakag also clashed with the leftist gunmen in the same area shortly after the rebels simultaneously ransacked the 24/7 Bonsetas II establishment after disarming security guard Felipe Lundaan of his caliber .45 pistol and 12-gauge shotgun around 4 in the morning.
The gunmen also held at gunpoint a 19-year old saleslady and one minor in a nearby convenience store before ransacking the company bunkhouse and the residences of ex-militiaman Ely Sulod and a civilian identified as Nikel Salungay.
The official sad that around 6 a.m. Wednesday, a team of officers from the 1004th RMFB went to the area but were ambushed by the guerrillas who planted an improvised explosive device along the road to derail the advance of the policemen.
No casualty was reported on the side of the police officers but the tire and steering wheel of a passing delivery truck with plate no. JAE-9721 being driven by Raymart Lake,21, were damaged by the IED explosion. Luckily, Lake and his passengers were unharmed in the incident.
Lami-ing said members of the 1st SF Battalion who tried to reinforce the policemen were also ambushed by the guerrillas resulting in injuries to Libugan and Sarez who were taken to the Gonzales Emergency Hospital in Lantapan for treatment.
The official said members of the Talakag Municipal Police Station led by Captain Dominador Orate Jr. set up checkpoints to prevent the rebels from fleeing the scene. Police also recovered at the scene of the ambush two batteries used by the guerrillas to detonate their IED as well as about a 20-meter long electrical wire, fragments of the PVC used to assemble the IED, several shrapnel and spent cartridges from M-16 rifles and a dud M-203 grenade.
PRO10 director, Brigadier General Rolando B. Anduyan has ordered the filing of criminal charges against the attackers as he requested local residents to cooperate with the ongoing investigation to identify the rebels.