MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – At least 50 persons, whom police believe to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA), raided a police station in Iloilo province on Sunday, June 18.
In a report to Camp Crame, the Iloilo provincial police office said at around 11 am on Sunday, "about 50" alleged NPA members on board a truck "raided" the police station in Maasin, Iloilo.
They "carted [an] undetermined number of FAs (firearms)" and took with them a police patrol vehicle, according to the report. No cops were injured during the incident.
Iloilo City has been placed under "red alert status" as a "precautionary measure" following the incident, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said on Sunday. That means all local officials and police are expected to help each other and closely monitor the situation in their areas.
"There is no reported threat to the city. This is just a precautionary measure. Let’s all stay alert and vigilant," said Mabilog in a Facebook post.
Maasin is less than 30 kilometers away from Iloilo City, the capital of Iloilo province.
The suspects withdrew to the mountains of Alimondian, Iloilo, according to police. An RMN Iloilo report said the police patrol car was later retrieved.
The Coronacion Chiva "Waling Waling" command of the NPA later claimed the attack, citing alleged abuses on local vendors by police and the police’s supposed inability to curb illegal drugs and gambling in the area.
"Ito ay sagot din ng NPA-Panay sa kontra-mamamayang Oplan Kapayapaan at kampanyang todo-giyera na pinapatupad ng AFP at PNP laban sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa buong bansa," the local NPA command said in a statement.
(This is NPA Panay’s answer to Oplan Kapayapaan and other offensive campaigns being implemented by the AFP and PNP against the revolutionary movement around the country.)
The police station in Maasin, regional police said, is one of the targets for attacks by the NPA.
Cops will be filing criminal charges against the suspects. In a subsequent report, police said the NPA rebels stole 8 M16 rifles, 4 9mm pistols, 5 handheld radios, a base radio, P25,000 in cash, 2 laptops, and jewelry. – Rappler.com