LEGAZPI CITY, May 19 (PNA) -- Two policemen were wounded Tuesday morning in an encounter between Philippine National Police (PNP) forces and an undetermined number of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Sitio (sub-village) San Jose, Barangay Maslog, an upland village of this city, a PNP officer said.
Wounded in the clash were Police Officer 2 (PO2) Ronald Bondad and a policeman who is yet to be identified. The two were rushed to the Aquinas Hospital, Police Senior Supt. Marlo S. Meneses, PNP Albay provincial director, said.
Meneses said in a text message that two teams from the Albay Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) were on security patrol at around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday at a mountainous area of Purok 5, Sitio San Jose when they encountered the undetermined number of NPA rebels.
The incident led into a 45-minute firefight where the two police officers were seriously injured.
A report said the NPA rebels were positioned at a vantage point when they fired at the police patrol team but its members were able to retaliate.
The communist rebels immediately fled the scene when they were outnumbered upon the arrival of the reinforcing policemen.
Meneses said the two patrol teams, composed of 16 men led by led SPO4 Alfredo Bolanos and SPO1 Perfecto Rojas, were on a security patrol as they were tipped of the presence of armed men in the area.
Sitio San Jose residents were celebrating their village fiesta.
Fiesta visitors claimed that upon hearing gun shots, they immediately ducked to the floor of the residences with their faces on the floor and stayed in that position for almost two hours.
As of press time, the police officers were still in still in hot pursuit of the rebels who, Meneses said, could have been carrying wounded comrades during their escape.
They also put up check points in the area as a precautionary measure. (PNA) LAP/FGS/MSA/CBD/