NPA rebels abduct 5 Davao police officers

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The New People’s Army (NPA) abducted 5 police officers in Davao City on Saturday, April 16, officials said.

Police investigation indicate that the police precinct commander of the city's Paquibato district, along with 4 other officers, were en route to investigate the reported burning of a Cafgu detachment in the village of Salapawan when they were flagged down by the rebels in Purok 5, Barangay Mapula.

NPA spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez, in a statement, said a unit of the NPA's 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion captured the 5, who were aboard a mobile patrol vehicle, and took them as prisoners-of-war at around 11:30 am Saturday.

"The PNP condemns this lawless act against PNP personnel who were only performing their duty to serve and protect the people," Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Wilben Mayor said in a statement Monday, April 18.

"On the other hand, Police Regional Office (PRO 11) is exerting efforts to track down the suspects and establish the location and ensure safety of the victims," the statement said.

Mayor also said that the checkpoints have been put up in the area, and the military are conducting hot pursuit operations.

“The POWs will be held in custody pending an investigation for possible war crimes and other crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement,” NPA's Sanchez said.

Meanwhile, the NPA also claims to have seized 17 firearms in a raid on the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion detachment in Sitio Quimanao, Barangay Salapawan at 7 am on Saturday.

“The NPA seized 9 garand rifles, 8 M14 rifles, 78 clips of garand ammunition, 30 fully loaded M14 magazines and other military hardware,” said Sanchez. – Rappler.com