9 NPA rebels nabbed after attack in Davao Sur

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Monday, March 10, 2014

KIDAPAWAN CITY -– Police and military authorities here announced the arrest of nine suspected members of the communist New Peoples Army (NPA) who raided the police station of Matanao town in Davao del Sur that left two cops dead and three others hurt.

Senior Superintendent Ronaldo Llanera, Davao Sur police provincial director, said the nine were among the more than 50 NPAs, led by Felix Armodia, alias Commander Jing, who attacked the Matanao police station around 4:00 a.m. Monday. A shootout ensured until the rebels fled as Army and police reinforcement arrived.

"They are now undergoing tactical interrogation, we have arrested them in Barangay Saboy, also in Matanao,” Llanera told reporters.

Llanera said the attack in Matanao was a diversionary tactic to divert the attention of the military conducting operations against the communist guerrillas following the encounter and land mining of 39th Infantry Battalion troops in nearby Bansalan, also in Davao del Sur.

“We raised our alert level, this could be diversionary tactics because of the military offensive in nearby Bansalan town,” Llanera said.

Llanera withheld the identities of the slain policemen unless their next of kin are fully informed.

Quoting reports from Matanao police, Llanera said about 50 rebels on board a jeepney, forward truck and Elf-type truck arrived shortly before 4:00 a.m.

Policemen, although outnumbered, managed to return fire, triggering a gun battle that lasted for about an hour until the rebels fled.

Llanera could not say whether the attackers also suffered fatalities.

Commander Jing is the secretary of Front 72 of the rebels’ Far South Mindanao Regional command. (PNA)

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