By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) has been placed on heightened alert yesterday following the violent clash in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique which resulted in the death of seven suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members.
BCPO director, Police Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, said police in the city have adopted an aggressive stance and increased the number of random checkpoints.
The 10 police stations and the main BCPO headquarters have also deployed advanced security points. Individuals entering stations will be checked thoroughly before being allowed entry.
Ebreo also deployed the BCPO Mobile Force Company to provide internal security for their headquarters.
Last Wednesday, members of the Antique Police Provincial Office and the Philippine Army 61st Infantry Battalion clashed with suspected NPA rebels at Barangay Atabay, San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.
Police Regional Office-6 director, Police Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, said police from the San Jose Municipal Police Station, led by Police Superintendent Mark Anthony Darroca went to the area in order to serve an arrest warrant against Jason Talibo and Joven Ceralvo.
However, as police attempted to serve their arrest warrant, the suspects allegedly resisted arrest and opened fire.
As the clashes continued, local police called for reinforcements from the Philippine Army 61st Infantry Battalion and the remaining cops from the town’s police station.
The gun battle went for about an hour until the two wanted men, along with five others, were killed.
Police recovered two .38 caliber revolvers; a KG-9 automatic sub-machine pistol; a homemade shotgun; assorted ammunition, including several explosives; backpacks; and a motorcycle.
Cops and soldiers also seized several subversive documents, extortion letters with NPA markings from the Napoleon Tumagtang Command Southern Front-Panay, a laptop, mobile phones, and P34,601 in suspected extortion proceeds.
Investigations further revealed the group were members of the Regional Taxation Implementing Group, part of the NPA Komiteng Rehiyon Panay.
Bulalacao said no government forces nor nearby civilians were wounded./DGB, WDJ