MANILA - An armored vehicle of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) sported scores of bullet holes after an attack by suspected communist rebels in Arakan town, North Cotabato early Wednesday.
The rebels, numbering about 50, were allegedly manning a checkpoint in the boundary of Arakan and Davao City when 10 PSG members passed by on board a 2-vehicle convoy.
"Noong na-detect ng tropa na 'di sila totoong sundalo, doon nagkaputukan," PSG spokesperson Col. Mike Aquino told reporters.
Seven of the PSG officers were reportedly trapped for an hour inside the armored vehicle as the rebels opened fire.
The other 3 officers were on board the other, non-bulletproof vehicle, fled to the nearby Barangay Lorega in Kitao-kitao, Bukidnon. They reached safety even after one of the tires of vehicle burst due to the assault.
The gunmen eventually withdrew and shot dead a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, identified as Benjamin Pandia.
Four PSG members were wounded in the encounter, Aquino said.
An ABS-CBN report said 3 of the injured officers were flown to Davao City for treatment.
The reported ambush came just days after the Philippine National Police revealed intelligence reports that the NPA will allegedly mount an attack in Davao region. -- With Claire Cornelio, ABS-CBN News