5 hurt in Abra ambush

Maria Elena Catajan

TENSION and fear now grip Abra after terrorists attacked police headquarters and attempted to ambush provincial director Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum.

Abra is now on full alert after rebel groups attacked the convoy of the police provincial director, according to information officer Marcy Grace Marron.

Marron said the province is on a double full alert as of presstime.

Police reports reveal one platoon led by Tagum, and Superintendent Allen Bauding was ambushed by undetermined number of communist terrorists at Malanas bridge, Barangay Poblacion, Malibcong.

Marron said initial reports confirm five police officers were wounded in action.

Wounded during the ambush are PO2 Jessie Trinidad, PO1 Marlon dela Paz, PO1 Gerome Baldos, PO1 Kennon Sanggoy and PO1 Von Harold Layao.

The men were wounded when a suspected improvised explosive device exploded followed by bursts of fire.

The wounded victims are now being treated at the Abra Provincial Hospital.

Reports reaching SunStar Baguio reveal the night before the attack, seven M16 riffles, three pistols, four cellphones were taken by rebels from the Malibcong police station in a raid.

The police team was en route to Malibcong to investigate the raid when they were ambushed by the rebel group.

Police Regional Office–Cordillera regional director Chief Superintendent Elmo Francis Oco Sarona condemned the harassment and ordered the creation of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to conduct investigation and shed light to determine the liabilities on the part of the PNP members.

Sarona also reminded all personnel to be alert at all times on the actions being perpetrated by lawless elements to prevent similar incident and likewise ordered all chiefs of police to intensify their crime prevention efforts and strengthen security of PNP personnel in their areas.