The series of “agaw armas” operations in the cities of Talisay and Bacolod is being looked into by the police as the handiwork of the “enemies of the state”.
Six unidentified armed men disarmed three security guards of two .38 caliber revolvers and a 12 gauge shotgun in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, yesterday.
Supt. Adonis Rosales, Talisay City police chief, said the unidentified suspects, who were also armed with revolvers and shotguns, left the security guards unharmed, after taking their guns.
Rosales said he cannot speculate on the affiliation of the suspects, who were only interested in the guns.
Similar incidents of “agaw armas” were also reported in Bacolod City.
Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, said yesterday that they are looking into the involvement of the New People's Army, among other lawless elements, although they have no evidence yet.
Castil ordered police chiefs to remind private security guards to be responsible in securing their service firearms.
Capt. Ruel Llanes, 303 rd Infantry Brigade spokesperson, yesterday said that they are anticipating NPA attacks on undermanned PNP stations and CAFGU detachments and other soft targets, as well as agaw armas operations.
Last week, the NPA Armando Sumayang Command claimed responsibility for the raid of a quarry site and the bombing of its heavy equipment in Brgy. Orong, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
Castil said the raid of the quarry site and destruction of the heavy equipment is part of the NPA extortion activities.
As a precautionary measures, Llanes said they are intensifying their combat operations and conducting joint checkpoints with the PNP, to prevent the NPA from initiating more terroristic activities.
Police commanders have been reminded anew to verify first any reported incident, before taking any action, in the wake of series of attacks made by the New People's Army, with policemen as targets, nationwide.
Castil said they are tapping barangay officials to check any incident that may take place in their areas, before the police responds to it.
Last month, five policemen survived an ambush staged by about 30 NPA rebels in Cauayan, Negros Occidental. But two foreigners and their Filipino driver were injured.
Similar incidents also took place in Iloilo, Antique, Camarines Norte and Misamis Oriental, where two policemen were killed, and more than 20 others were wounded.
Castil admitted that policemen are vulnerable to rebel attacks, because of the nature of their job. * GPB.
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