12 killed, 11 hurt in Davao Sur attacks

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Monday, March 10, 2014

DAVAO CITY (Updated) -- Rebels attacked a police station in Davao del Sur on Monday, killing three policemen, while two other unidentified rebels and seven soldiers were killed in a separate clash on the same date.

Some 50 rebels on board a jeepney and trucks led by New People's Army (NPA) Front 72 leader Felix Armodia attacked the Matanao Municipal Police Station around 4 a.m. Monday.

Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office (DSPPO) Director Ronaldo Llanera said the gunbattle lasted for around 30 minutes.

Llanera identified only two of the fatalities in the police station attack as Senior Police Officer 1 Manolo Booc and Senior Police Officer 3 Danny Moalong. The wounded policemen were Inspector Renato Uy, Police Officer 1 Sherwin Cadungog, and Police Officer 1 Gilbert Legaspi.

The rebels snatched seven M16 automatic rifles, two 9mm pistols, one .45 caliber pistol and two hand-held radios.

Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) Public Information Office head Captain Alberto Caber said two NPA rebels were later killed in a pursuit operation at Sitio Tagaytay in Barangay Savoy in Matanao town.

Caber said troops of the Army's 39th Infantry Battalion encountered around 6:50 a.m. Monday the rebels who attacked the Matanao police station earlier. The clash took about two hours, he added.

Nine suspected rebels, who remain unidentified, were arrested.

Caber also confirmed another encounter ensued between the troops and the rebels around 9 a.m. at Sitio Lahak in Barangay Asbang, Matanao, where seven soldiers were killed and eight others were wounded by a landmine.

"The troops were still in pursuit operation that time when they were attacked by the same communist group. Our soldiers were hit by the landmine set off by the NPA," Caber said.

Police Regional Office Davao Director Wency Pascual already checked the situation in Matanao police station. He said he already ordered the police to conduct a manhunt operation in coordination with the military.

Eastmincom commander Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, meanwhile, said he already instructed the military commanders in the area to extend its full support to the local police and conduct security patrol in the area.

Llanera also said the authorities already placed Davao del Sur under full alert status following the attacks of the NPA. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

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