NPA killed, 13 gov’t troops wounded in clashes during CPP’s 50th

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Dec) – A suspected communist rebel was killed and two policemen were wounded in Bukidnon as the Communist Party of the Philippines celebrated its 50th anniversary Wednesday.

In a separate incident, 11 Army soldiers were wounded when they ran into a series of landmines planted by communist rebels when the soldiers tried to disrupt a gathering of party members in Monkayo, Compostela Valley province also on Wednesday.

Supt. Surki Serenes, Philippine National Police Region 10 spokesperson, said police officers were conducting a checkpoint in Sitio Colon, Barangay Halapitan, San Fernando town in Bukidnon when gunmen riding in six motorcycles fired at them.

“We have received information that NPA rebels will attempt to spray paint government infrastructures with their communist slogans,” Serenes said.

In the exchange of fire, Serenes said one NPA rebel was killed while two policemen identified as certain PO2 Mutia and PO1 Canete were wounded.

Serenes said the rest of the NPA rebels managed to escape, leaving behind their dead comrade and four motorcycles. The body of the slain rebel was reportedly brought later to the municipal hall.

He said police found cans of spray paint, five hand grenades, a 9mm Ingram machine pistol, a caliber .45 pistol, an improvised explosive device (IED) with blasting cap, mobile phones and six backpacks.

In Compostela Valley, soldiers acting on a report that communist rebels were holding a gathering to celebrate the CPP anniversary went to the hinterlands of Monkayo town.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, chief of the public affairs office of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said that upon reaching sitio Tinago, Barangay Diwata in Monkayo town, the soldiers ran into a field of IEDs planted by the rebels.

Lamosao said the soldiers were evacuated to a military hospital in Davao City.

The two incidents came as the Armed Forces heightened its operations to derail the communist party from celebrating its 50th anniversary. In the past, several media practitioners had been invited to observe the CPP’s anniversary celebrations in the mountains. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)