SAGADA, Mountain Province – A policeman was killed while nine others were injured when members of the Mountain Province Provincial Mobile Force Company (MPPMFC) who were conducting operations within the vicinity of Mount Sipitan near the famous Buasao falls were waylaid by still undetermined heavily armed communist rebels belonging to the New Peoples Army (NPA) Leonardo Pacsi command at Barangay Aguid, here, Tuesday.
Police authorities identified the lone fatality as Police Officer (PO) 2 Henry Dion of Bauko, Mountain Province while his injured colleagues were named as Superintendent Joseph B. Cayat, MPPMFC commanding officer, SPO1 Antolin A. Potpoten, SPO3 Wilfred W. Manacnis, Jr., PO2 Regie A. Palome, PO! Aldrin Bocalan, PO1 Xander M. Depnag, PO1 Jake B. Paat, PO1 Yasser L. Guzman and PO1 Clarence D. Abutan, all members of the MPPMFC operating troops.
Initial police investigation showed that the law enforcers were conducting anti-insurgency operations in the place of incident considering the alleged presence of a training camp of the communist rebels in the area when they were ambushed by still undetermined heavily armed men that subsequently resulted to a running gun battle that lasted for several hours until the rebels retreated towards an undisclosed direction following the arrival of reinforcement from both the police and military.
Police theorized that the NPAs also suffered casualties as a result of the gun battle due to the blood stains on their escape route but they were able to bring with them their fallen comrades.
Combined police and military are now conducting hot pursuit operation against the fleeing rebels.
Two of the injured law enforcers are said to be in critical condition at the Bontoc General Hospital where they are undergoing close medical supervision.
By Dexter A. See