PNP condemns NPA for attacking civilians in N. Samar
By Sarwell Meniano and Roel Amazona / Philippine News Agency
TACLOBAN CITY – The New People’s Army (NPA) has not spared civilians in their failed attempt to overrun the police station of Victoria, Northern Samar early Thursday.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that at least five civilians, including a minor and a septuagenarian, were wounded when a group of armed rebels fired at them around 4 a.m.
Col. Ma. Bella Rentuaya, PNP Eastern Visayas regional spokesperson, said the victims were on board a black Toyota Vios from San Jose town heading to San Isidro, Northern Samar when flagged down and fired upon by an undetermined number of armed men upon reaching Libertad village in Victoria, Northern Samar.
The rebels with long firearms are believed to be the blocking force of the NPA who launched an attack at the Victoria police station around 3:44 a.m.
Wounded on different parts of their bodies were Samuel Ilustre, 52; Wilta Tejero Sr., 74; Wilta Tejero Jr., 44; Shai Sanchez, 17; and Mariquel Sanchez Tejero, 53. They are all residents of Barangay North, San Jose town.
The group armed men asked them to stop, but sensing danger, Ilustre, the driver of Toyota Vios, took a U-turn to escape from perpetrators, however, the NPA fired at them.
A concerned citizen brought them to Allen District Hospital for treatment and were referred to Northern Samar Provincial Hospital for further medication. Rentuaya condemned the attack of civilians saying it was a treacherous act.
The PNP found out about civilian victims when policemen in the capital town of Catarman, Northern Samar checked hospitals to monitor patients with gunshot wounds in relation to the attack of Victoria police station.
Three members of the New People’s Army (NPA) during the attack on the police station.
The 50 armed rebels, mostly women clad in military fatigue uniforms with yellow headbands, failed to seize the police station manned by 15 policemen when they launched an attack at about 3:44 a.m., the Eastern Visayas Police Regional Office reported.
The rebels were on board two trucks when they arrived the town center around 3:40 a.m.
A young NPA member was also arrested by the police after the firefight while they recovered two firearms.
The NPA unit, which has jurisdiction in the area, is under section committee 2, sub-regional committee emporium of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee, headed by Ranie Cabides, according to the police.
Victoria, a fifth-class town in Northern Samar, is about 238 km. north of Tacloban, the regional capital.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. (PNA)