REBELS OVERRUN EASTERN SAMAR POLICE STATION; SEIZE FIREARMS

TACLOBAN CITY –- About 30 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebel group raided the police station of Balangkayan, Eastern Samar Monday night, carting away several weapons.

All five policemen on duty were not harmed during the raid that lasted for 30 minutes around 7 p.m. on Monday, according to Eastern Samar police provincial director Sr. Supt. Romeo Campomanes.

Campomanes said in a phone interview that at least 14 assorted firearms were carried away by rebels after they overrun the police station.

“The police officers were caught by surprise. They did not attempt to fight back since the NPAs threatened to shoot them if they would move,” Campomanes told PNA.

Balangkayan town has 22 police officers; 11 were on duty on Monday, but only five were inside the police station since others were either conducting patrol or having dinner.

The rebels fled towards Balogo village on board a rented van owned by Duptours. The attackers abandoned the vehicle in the remote San Gabriel village in Maydolong town.

There is an ongoing probe on the incident looking into possible lapses on police operation procedures, according to the provincial police chief.

“We ordered hot pursuit operations against the NPA rebels behind staging the raid,” Campomanes added.

Balangkayan, a fifth class town in Eastern Samar is about 160 kilometers away from Tacloban, the regional trade center and 30 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Borongan City. Sarwell Meniano/PNA/northboundasia.com