By Niño N. Luces and Aaron B. Recuenco
Camp Ola, Albay/Camp Crame, Quezon City — New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas struck early yesterday morning, killing a policeman and wounding two soldiers in separate ambuscades in Masbate and Palawan provinces.
Speaking at Camp Ola in Legazpi City, Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) Spokesperson Malu C. Calubaquib said about 20 NPA guerrillas ambushed a police patrol vehicle in Barangay Poblacion, Monreal, Masbate, killing the policeman driving the vehicle.
Senior Inspector Calubaquib identified the fatality as Police Officer 2 Mervin Capellan, assigned to the Monreal Municipal Police Station (MPS).
She said PO2 Capellan was driving the Mahindra Mobile Patrol No. 100 of the Monreal MPS to a carwash shop owned by a certain Dan Gebilaguin in Barangay Poblacion at 6:30 a.m. when it received heavy fire from strategically-positioned rebels.
The policeman died on the spot, while government security forces launched pursuit operations against the perpetrators.
At about the same time in Palawan, soldiers who had just come from a mission in El Nido were waylaid by NPA rebels in San Vicente town, said Chief Insp. Imelda Tolentino, spokesperson of the Police Regional 4-B covering Mindoro island provinces, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan (Mimaropa).
The Marine soldiers were only two kilometers away from their camp at the Marine Battalion Landing Team 12 base when they were fired upon in Barangay Itabiak, San Vicente.
Tolentino said Technical Sergeant Restituto Selvino and Corporal Christian Rentillo were hit and wounded in the first volley of fire, then the combat troops retaliated and drove away the guerrillas.