2 cops hurt in Samar roadside blast

TACLOBAN CITY –- Two policemen were wounded when alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) detonated an improvised explosive devise targeting a police patrol car at a national road in Jiabong, Samar Wednesday noon.

PNP regional police spokesperson Chief Insp. Ma. Bella D. Rentuaya said police officers of Catarman, Northern Samar were heading to this city to attend a meeting when attacked them around 12:15 p.m. in Jia-an village, Jiabong town.

Wounded were Police Officer (PO) 1 Roan Ralph Sabanal and PO1 John Cervantes.

“We are saddened that this incident happened. Clearly, this was part of a series of harassment of the NPA targeting government forces in the region,” Rentuaya said.

“I could not say that NPA forces are getting stronger in our region because there’s no casualty on the side of the government.”

The police have stepped up their security plan after the Communist Party of the Philippines asked its armed wing, the NPA, to launch “armed counteractions and offensives” across the country.

The violent action is a protest against the five-month extension of Martial Law in Mindanao.

Rentuaya confirmed that there are some reported harassment against soldiers and police officers in the region since Sunday, but she declined to disclose details.

“Our vulnerable police stations are being directed to always be on guard and not be caught off-guard. They really have to be alert,” she added.

The police have been focusing in Samar provinces because of past incidents of rebel attacks. The remote villages in Samar have been tagged by government troops as hotbed of the NPA. Poor road network, poverty and low level of education are the major factors why communism thrives in Samar provinces. Sarwell Meniano/PNA-northboundasia.com