5 cops injured in clash vs NPA rebels in Abra

Carmela Jimenez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2017 01:40 AM

ABRA - Five policemen of the Abra Provincial Public Safety Company were injured Monday afternoon in a firefight with suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels who occupied the Malibcong Police Station.

The injured police officers were identified as PO2 Jessie P. Trinidad, PO1 Marion Dela Paz, PO1 Gerome Baldos, PO1 Kennon Sanggoy, and PO1 Von Harold Layao.

"Nung papunta na kami sa area, while my first team who are walking ahead of our group nagse-secure, nakita nila 'yung grupo sa kabilang ridge line na nagkaroon na ng sagutan ng putukan," said Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum, provincial director of Abra PNP.

Lt. Col. Thomas Dominic Baluga, commanding officer of the 24th Infantry Batallion, 7th Infantry Division of Philippine Army, led the reinforcement team that secured the police station.

About 30 suspected rebels attacked the temporary Malibcong Police Station in Barangay Poblacion in Malibcong in Abra Sunday evening.

The suspected rebels attacked the police while they were at the abandoned house of the town mayor since the police station is still under construction.

According to initial reports, four Malibcong cops were held captive by the rebels. They were released shortly after the elders intervened.

The alleged rebels took two 9mm guns, one caliber .45 pistol, seven M16 rifles, four cellphones, including the police hotline of Malibcong, and one laptop.