2 cops injured in landmine explosion in S. Kudarat

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 23 Sept) – Two policemen are still in critical condition after a powerful landmine exploded as they traversed a New People’s Army (NPA) infested remote village in Sultan Kudarat province while riding a motorcycle.

Supt. Rex dela Rosa, provincial director of Sultan Kudarat police, said the two policemen from the 2nd platoon of the Provincial Public Safety Company of Sultan Kudarat have just left their barracks around 11 a.m. today to conduct patrol security when the explosion took place in New Bantangan, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.

“They might be misconstrued as military men for wearing police fatigue uniform. We are convinced the New People’s Army are behind, given their active presence in the area and the explosive used from a command detonated landmine,” Dela Rosa said.

He added that the explosion took place at the height of an ongoing firefight in Barangay Datalblaw between the NPA and elements of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion, as soldiers are conducting combat operations on the sightings of the rebels.

Datalblaw is a few kilometers from New Bantangan, near the border territory of Sultan Kudarat and Davao Del Sur.

The police victims are identified as P01 Angelo Vilo, who suffered shrapnel wounds in his legs, hands and body, and PO1 Ritchie Cabillo, who was badly hit in his torso and left face.

They are both being treated in an undisclosed hospital in General Santos City.