LEGAZPI CITY – Suspected communist rebels initiated a series of offensives in Masbate province on Sunday, attacking the Philippine National Police (PNP) station in the town of Mobo, followed by a bomb attack on a responding police convoy at a nearby village and blasting of the concrete fence of radio station DYME in Masbate City, a police officer said.
Supt. Wilson Asueta, PNP Bicol spokesperson, said a band of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels under the “Jose Rapsing Command” attacked the Mobo PNP Station at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, using Molotov bombs, M203 rifles and M60 machine gun.
The assault resulted in the wounding of Senior Police Officer 1 Arturo Mendoza, Police Officer 1 Judy Villamor and five other members of the Mobo Police Station.
Reports said a number of NPA rebels clad in camouflage uniform with a red-colored arm band approached the police station, looking for a certain police officer.
The duty police officer, alarmed with the appearance of the armed men, quickly fired his gun at them and alerted his companions.
Asueta said the nine policemen on duty were able to strike back at the attacking rebels that led to a one hour firefight.
The reports from the Mobo police force said several NPA rebels were hit during the exchange of gunfire, but they were brought along by their companions as they fled toward Sitios Busay and Angbu of Barangay Poblacion 1 in Mobo town.
A responding police convoy led by Senior Supt. Thomas Seminiano, Masbate provincial director, was also attacked by the rebels, using an improvised landmine, while negotiating a road in Barangay Poblacion 1 at about 6:45 a.m. The explosion damaged the front windshield of Seminiano’s vehicle and wounded its driver.
Meanwhile, another bomb attack perpetrated by unidentified armed group destroyed the concrete fence in front of radio station DYME in Masbate City. No one was reported injured in the blast.
Joint policemen and Army soldiers have been deployed to track down the rebels. (PNA)