MANILA - Communist rebels on Thursday claimed responsibility on the ambush of a convoy of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Arakan town, Cotabato, which killed one and wounded 4.
In a statement posted on the Philippine Revolution website, the Communist Party of the Philippines said fighters from the First Pulang Bagani Company flagged down a "white unmarked and heavily-tinted armored vehicle" as it passed through a checkpoint they were manning.
"The NPA checkpoint was put up to interdict military and police vehicles carrying weapons plying the route as part of the NPA campaign in response to the CPP's call to fight martial law in Mindanao," the statement said.
The vehicle they flagged down was later identified as belonging to the PSG.
In the statement, the CPP said the driver rolled down his window and introduced himself as an "Army man," but drew his gun and sped the car away when he realized the checkpoint was not manned by the military.
At that point, the report said, a second vehicle of the convoy came and fired their weapons at the NPA fighters, and was able to pass through the checkpoint, but was fired upon by a nearby unit of the NPA before it could speed away.
"The NPA approached the disabled armored vehicle and ordered its passengers to alight. The passengers declared they are not going to resist but insisted they could not come out of the autolocked vehicle," the statement said.
Malacañang had condemned the attack, which came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte said the formal talks between the government and rebels would not resume until NPA stops its attacks on government forces.