MANILA, Philippines — A policeman was killed and 10 others wounded when hey were ambushed by communist rebels in the town of Maasin, Iloilo on Friday, November 24.
Maasin is the same town where, in June, New People’s Army guerrillas took control of the municipal police station without firing a shot and carted off several weapons and other equipment.
The Friday ambush took place a day after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 360 formally terminating peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front, and two days after three policemen were wounded in a rebel ambush in Sibalom, Antique.
News reports said the police personnel, belonging to the 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion, were on a patrol vehicle and a private car when they were attacked early Friday evening. The lone fatality was identified as Police Officer 1 Jofer Odon.
Most of the wounded policemen were taken to Iloilo City.
On Saturday, the Coronacion “Waling-Waling” Chiva Command of the NPA on Panay acknowledged the attack, which it said was carried out in Barangay Bolo by a unit of the Jose Percival Estocada Jr. Command in Central Panay, although it claimed 12 policemen were wounded.
It also called the Sibalom incident an ambush pulled off by the Napoleon Tumagtang Command of Southern Panay.
On the same day as the Maasin ambush, Concha Araneta, spokesperson of the NDFP on Panay, issued a statement belittling Duterte’s branding them “terrorist,” saying this was no different from what past presidents since the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos had done.
At the same time, she accused Duterte of scuttling the peace process “to justify his upcoming ‘legal’ and ‘justifiable’ declaration of one-man rule.”
Araneta also said Duterte was the terrorist he accused them of being, “a bully of a president” responsible for the deaths of “more than 90 peasants, fishermen and lumad and the “13,000 killed in the name of his pseudo drug war.”