Civilian injured in rebel ambush in Samar rose to 12
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The number of civilians injured in the ambush directed against a group of policemen in Borongan City, Samar last Friday has risen to 12, police said.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Maria Bella Rentuayan, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Eastern Visayas (PRO 8), also corrected the casualty figure, saying it was a 69-year-old female resident of the town (not a three-year-old boy as earlier reported) who died in the ambush, along with a policeman.
Rentuayan said police investigators are still on the scene as of Saturday morning investigating the incident.
Last Friday afternoon, December 13, a band of 50 New People’s Army rebels exploded an improvised explosive devise (IED) as a Toyota Hilux police patrol car was traversing the road in Barangay Libutan, Borongan City.
Rentuayan said the land mine explosion was followed by a deafening bursts of gunfire from the rebels, also hitting two tricycles and a Mitsubishi L300 van that were following the police car.
“That is why the civilian casualties were high.The rebels also hit the tricycles and van,” Rentuayan said on Saturday, December 14.
She identified the dead police officer as Patrolman Mark Jerome Rama while the dead civilian was identified as Agripina Trabuco, 69.
Rentuayan said the patrol car was on its way to the Samar Police Provincial Office in Catbalogan City when the ambush happened in Barangay Libutan.
She said around 50 rebels had taken positions on the roadside and then opened fire at the passing vehicles.
The ambush came as the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front are holding informal talks in Utrecht in The Netherlands.
President Rodrigo Duterte sent Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to Utrecht as his “last card for peace.”
President Duterte terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels two years ago, accusing them of insincerity following several ambushcades on military and policemen./elb
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