ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 7, 2011) – Communist rebels killed three policemen and wounded five more in an ambush in the restive region of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, officials said on Monday.
Officials said the policemen were in a van on their way to investigate the murder of a former village chieftain in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon province when New People’s Army rebels attacked them.
“Three policemen were killed on the spot while five other are wounded in the attack,” said Major Eugenio Osias, a spokesman for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
Osias blamed the rebels for the ambush and said as many 20 gunmen were behind the weekend attack that occurred near the village of Mapayag. “What the NPA has done was an act of treachery. We will exhaust all efforts to bring justice to those who were helplessly murdered by the rebels,” he said.
He did not say whether the rebels were also behind the killing of the former village chieftain, who was a staunch military supporter, but claimed that troops were sent to the province to hunt down the ambushers.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is currently negotiating peace with Manila which is aimed at ending decades of bloody separatist insurgency in the country.
But despite the talks, both sides have not signed a cease-fire agreement and deadly clashes and attacks are still widespread in many parts of largely Catholic country. (Mindanao Examiner)