Cop, CAFGU, civilians hurt in 6 rebel attacks in Bicol

A Philippine National Police (PNP) official, a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and four young civilians were wounded in a series of harassment cases staged by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon.

A police report identified the wounded CAFGU member as Hubert Pagao, assigned with the 3rd Platoon 5th CAA Company, 9th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in the detachment in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte.

Pagao was brought to the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital for treatment of a bullet wound he sustained during a 10-minute firefight that happened at about 10 a.m. Monday. >[?During the clearing operation done by the soldiers after the withdrawal of the rebels, they found a dead body several meters from their detachment, which they believed to be that of an NPA member.

At about 8:30 p.m. Monday, another group of rebels harassed the camp of the 3rd Maneuver Company of the 5th Regional Public Safety Battalion based in Barangay San Ignacio, Gubat, Sorsogon.

Police Insp. Francis Camu, unit commanding officer, was wounded during a 10-minute firefight and rushed to the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital.

The rebels withdrew towards the direction of Barangay Beriran in the same town.

At about 7:48 p.m., also on Monday, rebels attacked members of the 91st Civic Military Operation Bayanihan Team based in Sunrise Village Baldo 1, Barangay Anislag, Daraga, Albay.

Four civilians were wounded in the incident and brought to the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital.

Police identified them as James Allen Dominguez, 2; Eugene Asaytuno, 14; Rochcuel Biazon, 17, and John Leo Zamora, 18 -- all residents of the place.

Military authorities said that the PA unit was doing civil-military operation in the area when the incident occurred.

Police also reported successive attacks of communist insurgents against military and police facilities in Bulan, Sorsogon at 3:45 p.m.; Magallanes, Sorsogon, 7:10 p.m.; Casiguran, Sorsogon, 7:45 p.m. -- all on Monday -- that resulted in just minutes of firefights.

Military and police officials believed that the successive NPA attacks were in retaliation for the death of three communist dissidents in an encounter with military men in Irosin, Sorsogon, and the capture of a top rebel leader in Daraga, Albay, on Sunday.

Police identified the captured NPA commander as Eddie Astano alias Ka Taba/Louie of the Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC).

Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona, PNP Bicol regional director, has ordered police offices in Bicol to intensify their readiness and monitoring of rebel activities in their respective areas of responsibility. (PNA)