Communist rebels ambushed a police vehicle that resulted in a firefight before noon Sunday wounding at least three policemen and two civilians in Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte, Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, public information officer of the Police Regional Office 9, said.
Alabata said the ambush-firefight happened at around 11 a.m. in Barangay Sto. Niño.
“The police personnel were onboard Patrol Car [Mahindra] going back to their station from mobile patrol duty. Along the way, two civilians hopped in to report for work at the municipal hall. Upon reaching Sitio Paringan, they met a burst of gunfire. Our policemen were able to secure the safety of two civilians and even wounded they fought back against the rebels,” Alabata said.
The cops sent a radio message to the station that in turn called up the nearest Army camp for reinforcement. But before the combined police and military reinforcement arrived, the rebels had already withdrew to unknown direction.
Senior Police Officer 2 Ernesto Ali, who was hit on his arm, PO1 Fahad Atani, who was hit on the head, PO2 Arilon Lakim who had bruises on his arms and body, and Rolly Rico Luyao and Asmi Osama Naing were rushed to the Sibuco Hospital for medical attention.
The fourth cop, PO1 Edgar Luyao, was unhurt.
The three wounded cops were eventually transferred to Zamboanga City for further treatment.