Manhunt operations on vs suspected NPAs in Zambales

BOTOLAN, Zambales — Government troops are on hot pursuit operations against suspected communist rebels who reportedly raided this town’s police station and its advance command post in nearby Barangay Taugtog Monday.

Zambales Philippine National Police (PNP) Provincial Director Senior Supt. Christopher Mateo Jr., said manhunt operations are ongoing for some 20 suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) that reportedly simultaneously raided both police outfits early Monday dawn but were promptly thwarted by alert police guards who engaged them in a 20-minute exchange of firefight.

Mateo said there were no casualties nor victims reported from the incident.

He, however, said he had ordered the SOCO team to further investigate and find possible crime aftermath as some witnesses claimed the rebels came crawling in and out from the fight scene.

The incident also alerted an Army mechanized encampment several kilometers away from the advance police outpost and troops reinforced their counterparts, forcing the rebel forces to scamper away and withdraw towards the hinterlands of the town.

Government forces are still on hot pursuit operations, Mateo added. Mahatma Datu/