MANILA – A manhunt is underway against the communist terrorists who clashed with police commandos along the national highway in Barangay Putiao, Pilar town in Sorsogon province, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas said on Tuesday.
Sinas has mobilized maneuver forces of Police Regional Office-5 to link-up with the 9th Special Action Battalion of PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) that is now engaged in tactical operations against the fleeing terrorists.
Sinas said 11 police commandos from the 92nd Special Action Company on board a troop carrier truck on an administrative mission to undergo swab testing were informed by some civilians that the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist were conducting extortion activities on Visayas-bound rolling cargoes that were stranded on the road due to Tropical Storm Auring.
As the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers approached to validate the information, the NPA terrorists opened fire at the police team and detonated two improvised explosive devices (IED) triggering an encounter that lasted for 20 minutes.
Two civilians -- a truck driver and a local resident, and four PNP-SAF troopers suffered minor shrapnel wounds and were evacuated to the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital for treatment.
Sinas said the police bomb squad recovered an unexploded EID, 50 meters of electrical wire, and a 40mm fired cartridge case from the scene of encounter.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Bartolome Bustamante, PRO-5 regional director, condemned the latest atrocity perpetrated by the communist terrorist group (CTG), whose true objective is to sow chaos and disorder in the community.
He called on the public to "resist CTGs and cooperate with authorities to help end the threat of insurgency in Bicol". (PNA)