NPA admits role in ambush slay of police chief, 3 others in Davao del Sur

In a statement issued to news organizations today, Ricardo Fermiza, spokesperson for the Magtanggol Roque Command of the NPA Front 51, said a squad from their unit was responsible for the killing of Sr. Insp. Emilex Mabalot, municipal police chief of Bansalan; PO3 Roel Salces; PO2 Luis Bernie Humol; and Rudy dela Paz, a tanod of Barangay Managa in Bansalan.

Fermiza said they deployed a squad along the highway in Sitio Tower in Barangay Managa when they learned that the Davao del Sur Provincial Police had dispatched a team from Bansalan to back up a group of soldiers in the area they attacked earlier on that day.

The NPAs waylaid Sr. Insp. Mabalot and his team at Sitio Tower in Barangay Managa, around 11:30 am, on February 2, at least six hours after the they raided the detachment of the Army's 72nd Infantry Battalion in the area.

“Ang PNP, sa pangkinatibuk-an, namahimong kabahin sa anti-insurhensiya nga kampanya sa gobyernong US-Arroyo [The PNP, as a whole, become part of the anti-insurgency campaign of the US-Arroyo],” said Fermiza. 

The NPA spokesman disclosed that during the ambush they used a “command-detonated explosive”, which he said was not a banned weapon under the international war protocols of the Geneva Convention.

“This means, the explosive will only blow up when the switch is on at an appropriate time,” he explained.

Earlier, the NPA’s Merardo Arce Command based in Davao del Sur said command-detonated explosives differ from landmines, which are designed to exploded by the presence, proximity, or contact of a person, and are specifically banned by the Ottawa Treaty.   

“Unlike pressure-detonated or victim-detonated mines, the command-detonated explosives used by the NPA against the intruding AFP/PNP only explode when switched on by the detonating officer of an NPA unit upon the order of the commanding officer,” it said.

Mabalot and his team, including a group of village guards, were on their way to Bansalan proper to transport the body of a soldier who died in an earlier ambush staged by the rebels in Managa village. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)