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Rebels attack outposts in Sorsogon, wounding a cop and killing another

Bullet holes mark the outpost in Gubat, Sorsogon after attack of the New People’s Army on October 15.

By Juan Escandor Jr. gubat, sorsogon --- A police officer died and another one wounded in two separate attacks by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the towns of Gubat and Bulan in Sorsogon province on Sunday (Oct. 15) night. In a telephone interview, Police Officer 2 Ricky Ofalsa identified the fatality as Police Officer 2 Dennis Garbida who was with him when the attack happened. Ofalsa could not give an estimate of the number of suspected NPA rebels that launched the daring attack at the police outpost at the center of the business district of the town. “They were so many. They are all in camouflage uniform. I don’t even know what and how many vehicles they were riding on,” he narrated. Ofalsa said they are still investigating the incident that shocked the police force in this southern town in Bicol, 19 km from the provincial capital of Sorsogon City. According to the report of the police regional office in Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City, the NPA rebels that attacked the outpost in Gubat town were ferried by a white van and a single motorcycle. It added that another attack in the town of Bulan, 62 km away to the west of Gubat town, was launched in another outpost by suspected NPA rebels at past 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. The attack there wounded PO2 Dionne G. Cañada, the police report said. Senior Insp. Maria Luisa Calobaquib, spokesperson of the PNP region 5, said the NPA rebels that attacked the outposts an hour apart are different groups. She said the group that attacked Gubat outposts rode a white van while the one that attacked the Bulan outpost were already positioned at the Bulan Central School. Capt. Joash Pramis, head of the 9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, said the strength of the NPA rebels in Bicol is composed of more than 200 regulars who are armed with various kinds of weapons. Pramis said about 50 NPA rebels operate in Sorsogon alone in any given time. He said that for the past weeks the NPA rebels have been sowing “atrocities” in the province, including liquidation and harassments. “In the incidents that happened in the towns of Gubat and Bulan in Sorsogon, we will go back to assess where the lapses are and prevent the same incidents to happen,” Pramis said. He said the military will strengthen their information gathering through close coordination with the communities so that they can anticipate the things that might happen in the future. Pramis said Sorsogon province has one of the most active groups of NPA rebels.

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