NORTHERN SAMAR, Philippines – Suspected communist rebels raided a police station in Lapinig town in this province early Friday morning, August 10, leaving two cops injured.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) described the pre-dawn attack on the Lapinig Municipal Police Station as a “looting and shooting rampage.”
Based on a sketchy report from local cops, about 100 alleged communist rebels with high-powered firearms attacked the station at around 1:44 am on Friday. There were only 6 cops on duty at the time.
Army Captain Francis Agno, 8th Infantry Division spokesperson, told Rappler that the exchange between the police and suspected rebels lasted for 15 minutes. Police Officer 2 Jerry Quilicol and Police Officer 1 Edizon Aguirre were hurt in the encounter.
Agno said the suspected rebels fled under cover of darkness, carting away 10 high powered firearms, 3 handguns, an undertermined number of ammunition and magazines, a desktop, a laptop and the mobile phone of Lapinig police.
As of this writing, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but recent similar incidents were carried out by the NPA, which has a stronghold in this province.
“Tinitingnan namin ngayon na baka may connection ang pag-atake sa naunang pagkadakip nang isang top NPA commander, Tayang (We are now looking into the possible connection of the attack with the earlier arrest of a top NPA coomander, Tayang,” Agno said.
He was referring to Marieta Bartolo, secretary of an NPA unit operating in Northern Samar, who was arrested in a joint police and military operation with 4 other rebels last month. Agno said the military and the police had anticipated a possible NPA rescue operation for their detained members.
The PNP said in a statement Friday noon that they suspected that the attack was aimed at the Lapinig Municipal Hall.
PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana said checkpoints have been intensified. Agno said the 20th Infantry Batallion is on hot pursuit of the suspects in the mountainous part of Lapinig town.