NPA seizes 2 jail guards, rescues comrade in Surigao del Sur

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Communist rebels captured two personnel  of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) during a bid to rescue comrades who were set to attend a hearing in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, on Monday morning, April 27.

Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, deputy chief of the 4th Infantry Division's Public Affairs Office, said at least 3 people were wounded in the process – a suspected communist leader and two other BJMP personnel.

Maritinez said members of BJMP-Surigao del Sur were transporting two suspected communist leaders from Tandag City for a hearing at the Regional Trial Court in Lianga when they were fired upon by NPA rebels in Barangay Amontay in Marihatag town at around 7:45 am on Monday.

The detainees were identified as Robert Rivas and Jojean Alameda who were arrested in a checkpoint in Diatagon, Lianga, on February 13. Rivas was among those hurt in the firefight.

Rivas and the other two wounded BJMP personnel were brought to the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Hospital in Tandag City.

Martinez said rebels were able to retrieve Alameda, and brought with them two BJMP personnel – Security Officer 2 Juan Salazar and SO2 Feliciano Polan – as well as two M4 rifles, 4  9mm pistols and a .45 pistol.

Around the same time, a separate group of communist guerrillas  flagged down and torched a container van owned by DOLE Stanfilco along the highway of Sitio Kawilan in Barangay Antipolo, which is 10 kilometers away from the scene of the  other incident.

Surigao del Sur is among the hotspots that are in the crosshairs of military counterinsurgency operations. –