Caraga police stations in red alert status following threats of NPA attacks

by Ben Serrano

     April 28, 2011


          CAMP RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ, Libertad, Butuan City (PNA)  - The entire police stations in 67 municipal, six cities and provincial police stations and offices in Caraga region are now in placed in red alert status following threats of more NPA attacks in the region.


          Caraga PNP regional director Chief Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal ordered “red alert status” on all PNP stations all over Caraga region.

             Lianga town is 120 kilometers away from Butuan City, Caraga region's capital. 


          Rafal has also ordered intensified police intelligence networks following criticisms of many “intelligence lapses” that lead to attacks of police stations and joint checkpoints at present and in the past.


           PNP checkpoints were also established in vital areas of the region, Rafal said.


          At about 5 a.m. early morning Thursday, an estimated 100 suspected NPA rebels (not 30 as earlier reported) attacked the Lianga Municipal Police Station located within compound of Lianga Municipal Hall which is situated in populated Lianga Poblacion.


The attacking NPA rebels reportedly belonged to North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command of the CPP/NDF/NPA.


          Two Philippine Army personnel assisted Lianga policemen manning the police station at the time of the attack, Caraga PNP regional Chief of Staff Senior Supt. Nestor Monton Fajura said.


          Caraga Police and military reports claimed one NPA rebel was killed in the early morning attack while one was reportedly wounded and captured.


Wounded suspected NPA rebels was identified as EUNELIO A PISON reportedly resident of Pong-on, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur was brought to Lianga District Hospital for immediate medical treatment


          Caraga PNP regional director Chief Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal claimed one M-16 rifle, three hand grenades believed to be left behind by the attacking rebels were recovered by joint PNP and military operatives after the attack.


          “We suspect many were wounded in the NPA side because of the bloodstains found in their escape routes. Reinforcing elements of the 29th IB engaged enemy (NPA rebels) blocking force”, Rafal said.


        Fajura said reinforcing PNP and Philippine Army troops were unable to get near the station due to huge number of blocking forces of the communist rebels pre-positioned at highway before the attack.


 The rebels burned used truck tires and firewood to block the road for the reinforcing government troops, official Caraga PNP and military reports said.   


          Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City-based Philippine Army 4th ID Commanding General Major Gen. Victor Felix has ordered intensified military hot pursuit operations against fleeing communist rebels who attacked the Lianga Police Station.


          Philippine Army Fourth Infantry Division spokesman Major Osias said government troopers belonging to 401st Infantry Brigade headed by its commanding officer Col. Augusto Tolentino recovered an M-16 from the crime scene.


          Philippine Army 401st Infantry Brigade commanding officer Col. Augusto Tolentino ordered his troops to spearhead the clearing operations with police authorities in Lianga town.


          General Felix together with Chief Supt. Rafal personally commended joint PNP and military personnel in defending the Lianga Police Station despite being outnumbered by the attacking rebels.


          The two top police and military officials ordered investigation of the incident. (PNA/Ben Serrano)

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