Tulunan Mayor Nestor Taasan said the NPA’s Front 74 that operates in some hinterland barangays of his town and some parts of Colombio town in Sultan Kudarat were responsible in raiding the Army detachment. The rebel front is reportedly led by Commander Taotao and Ka Joey.
The armed men reportedly carted away 22 assorted firearms — 18 Garand rifles, three M14 and one M16 rifle — from the armory.
The rebels, said Taasan, also seized Army uniforms, documents, ammunitions and cell phones of four members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) who were manning the detachment.
Bituan barangay chairman Maximo Casulucan told DXND Radio for Peace hostaged the detachment commander, Cpl. Wilfredo Villanueva, while taking a bath a kilometer away from the detachment.
Casulucan said a band of fully armed NPA guerillas showed up and pointed their long firearms toward Villanueva, of the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion, ordering him to lead the group to the detachment where the firearms were being kept.
“The rebels tied him and dragged him to the detachment,” Casulucan said.
Casulucan added that the rest of the rebels held the residents at bay, denying them of exit by blocking the provincial road a few meters away from the multipurpose building.
He claimed that valuables of the residents, including their cellphones, were confiscated by the NPAs.
No one was hurt in the said attack but residents near the Army detachment have reportedly begun to evacuate as of 2 p.m. today, seeking refuge in the village center.
Members of the 39th Infantry Battalion and the Tulunan PNP have already conducted a manhunt operation against the NPAs believed to be hiding in the mountainous boundaries of Tulunan and Colombio.