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PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2 - 4:56 p.m.) At least one policeman was killed and another seriously wounded when New People’s Army guerrillas raided the police station of Roxas town in Palawan province Wednesday morning.
Although various sources, incuding a Roxas policeman, who spoke to InterAksyon but asked not to be named, said two personnel of the station died, provincial police director Senior Superintendent Reynaldo Jagmis identified only one fatality, Senior Police Officer Monsito Rabang.
The injured policeman, on the other hand, was identified as SPO1 Pablo Acosta, who has been brought to Puerto Princesa for treatment.
Reports said around 30 rebels wearing military uniforms entered the station pretending to be government troops but later identified themselves as NPA.
The rebels were able to disarm all the policemen on duty, seize at least eight firearms and the station’s communications equipment.
The military’s Western Command has deployed troops from the 3rd Marine Brigade and Marine Battalion Landing Team to pursue the rebels.
Second Lieutenant Ann Adelle Abrigo, Westcom spokesperson, said checkpoints have also been set up and were already been placed and OV-10 fighters launched to track down the rebels.
The Roxas raid was the third NPA attack in the province since Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, rebels raided Citinickel Mining and Development Corp in the southern town of Sofronio Espanola and torched a backhoe owned by the company. Hours later, another rebel band burned another backhoe owned by Gold Rock Construction in Barangay Pamantulon, Taytay, in northern Palawan.
The provincial police office, which has gone on heightened alert, claimed the raid on Roxas was in retribution for a raid by the town’s police force on an allegedly illegal gold panning operation in Barangay Magara.
Last year, suspected NPA guerrillas also raided a security detachment of a mining company in Brooke's Point, a town adjacent to Sofronio Espanola, and an illegal chromite mining operation in Pali Island, Taytay, disarming their guards.