Samar cops repulse New People’s Army attack, kill 3 rebels

A SMALL group of policemen manning the Victoria Municipal Police Station in Northern Samar early morning yesterday bravely repulsed some 50 heavily-armed New People’s Army guerrillas who attacked them killing three of the rebels in the process, Police Regional Office 8 director, Police Brigadier General Dionardo B. Carlos said.

The bravery displayed by the officers and men of the Victoria MPS led by Lieutenant Eladio Alo earned them commendation from the Philippine National Police high command led by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde who said that they have showed an act of courage and bravery worthy of emulation by all members of the 190,000-strong police force.

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 3:44 in the morning.

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

Carlos said that nearly five hours after the NPA attack was foiled, members of the Catarman Municipal Police Station led by Staff Sergeant Rolando Dente inspected the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital to monitor patients with gunshot wounds.

He said that the policemen eventually discovered that four of five local residents were wounded after being fired at by the attackers.

The victims were identified as Samuel Ilustre, 52, a utility worker at the San Jose, Samar local government; Wilta Tejero, a 74-year old widow;  her son Wilta Jr.,44; Shai Sanchez, a 17-year old student; and her mother Mariquel,53, all residents of Bgy. North, San Jose, Northern Samar.

With Zaida Delos Reyes