Policemen ambushed by rebels in Sorsogon

Attack was in retaliation of a previous army offensive

NAGA CITY (10 November) - IN A RADIO BROADCAST aired region-wide from Legazpi City, the New People's Army "Celso Minguez Command" in Sorsogon province claimed responsibility for the ambush of PNP personnel of the 509TH Police Provincial Mobile Group that resulted to the death of four policemen and the wounding of three others in Sitio Pinaradan, barangay Calumagan, Bulan, Sorsogon about 11:00 AM on Monday (Nov. 9).

In the aired broadcast, CPP-NPA-NDF Bikol spokesman "Greg Bañares" stated that the rebel ambush in Bulan town was in retaliation of the government troopers'  "over-kill" in a military operation that resulted to the death of nine rebels in Pilar, Sorsogon, last month.

After the incident last November 9, the PNP regional command in Legazpi disclosed the names of the fatalities as: Police Insp. Jerson De Leon; SPO1 Johnson Gerola;      PO2 Darwin Detoito; and PO1 Bryan Padrique. Also among the fatalities of the encounter was an unidentified  rebel who died during the detonation of an improvised landmine  used during the ambush.

Three other policemen who were wounded during the ambush were PO1 Franz Guamos, PO1 Alain Lu Lanuza and PO1 Alwin Baldano; they were reportedly hidden by local residents.

The three were earlier reported captured by rebels until they were brought by residents to a local hospital for treatment.

At the flag-ceremony rites at Camp Salvador Escudero in Sorsogon  City, Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Heriberto Olitoquit made an emotional speech to police troops Tuesday morning.

Olitoquit lamented that "cause-oriented groups in Sorsogon readily denounced the army or the police once there were rebel casualties."

However, the recent incident "has not solicited any reaction from the local cause-oriented groups," Olitoquit said.

Police sources here said the mobile group responded to a call in Bulan town, concerning a rebel raid in the house of Garry Goyola, a personal aid of Congressman Jose Solis of Sorsogon.

Rebels reportedly raided Goyola's place in Barangay Calumagan for some hidden firearms; the PNP mobile group aboard a vehicle was hit by a landmine during the said ambush.