By Ali Macabalang
KIDAPAWAN CITY – Suspected communist rebels abducted a Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) agent after killing a militiaman and wounding five members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in an ambush Wednesday morning along Arakan town in North Cotabato, the provincial police office here said Thursday.
In a statement furnished to the Manila Bulletin, Senior Supt. Manny Peralta, North Cotabato police director, named the abducted CIDG agent as Rogelio Mago Genon, 60 years old.
Peralta did not provide details how Genon was snatched, saying only that troops from the Army’s 7th Infantry Division and the Arakan town police station were conducting pursuit operations on some 100 guerillas of the New People’s Army behind the ambush and abduction.
He said the pursuing troops were combing areas at forested Barangay Gambudes in Arakan town where the rebels were last seen retreating after staging the ambush at nearby Barangay Katipunan, of the same town.
The NPA rebels, clad in fatigue uniforms with Davao Task Force insignias, set up first a checkpoint to waylay the 10-member PSG convoy of two vehicles, Peralta said.
Sensing a disguise by the rebels, the PSG men aboard the second car opened fire and reportedly inflicted a number of casualties among the enemies, a local police investigation report said.
At the ensuing firefight, five PSG men aboard the first vehicle sustained bullet wounds and a reinforcing member of Arakan town’s CAFGU forces was killed in action, police probers said.
Peralta named the slain militiaman as Ben Padia, and the wounded PSG men as Staff Sergeants Matumhay, Gerry Tursal and Lisondor, and Corporals Ayam Alia and Rodel Ledesma.
PSG officials said their wounded enlisted men have been declared out of danger while undergoing medication at a government hospital in Davao City.
The two-vehicle convoy was an advance party of the PSG that travelled from Davao City via Arakan, North Cotabato towards Cagayan de Oro City where President Duterte was reportedly set for another visit in relation to the Marawi City crisis.
Published reports have quoted PSG Commander Col. Louie Dagoy as saying that the ambush would not affect future activities of the President.
In his past visits to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, the Chief Executive had reportedly tried three times to proceed to war-torn Marawi City but bad weather had prevented him from doing so.