By Aaron Recuenco
Elite policemen clashed with suspected communist rebels who were reportedly conducting training courses in Taytay in Palawan.
Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, director of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police, said the gun battle started when members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion were fired upon while conducting patrol at Sitio Maubog in Barangay Alacalian.
“Prior to the incident, the operating team spotted a woman who was conducting a lecture to more or less 20 armed men inside a nipa hut,” said Mayor.
“A gun fire was heard coming from the said group towards the approaching police personnel. This started the gunfight,” he added.
Reinforcements from Marines forces arrived to aid the policemen in battling the communist rebels. But the latter were able to escape.
It was learned that the clash site occurred some 45 kilometers away from the national highway.
Seized after the clash site were two pieces of improvised land mines, an M16 rifle with 10 magazines, a portable generator set, assorted magazines for different high-powered firearms, cellular phones and a laptop.
The rebels are believed to be under the Bienvenido Vallever Command of the NPA as disclosed by various documents, flags and marked shirts which were recovered in the area.
“There were no reported casualties from the government side but undetermined on the enemy side. Three male persons present in the encounter site were taken to the Taytay Police Station,” said Mayor.
Aside from the refresher course, Mayor said they believe the rebels are conducting recruitment and indoctrination when the cops chanced upon them.