An armed group believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) waylaid a police vehicle resulting to the death of a police officer and four-month-old baby in a town in Bukidnon late Thursday afternoon, authorities said Friday.
A report from the Philippine National Police-10 (PNP-10) identified those killed as a SPO3 Arnel Carillo, of the Bumbaran municipal police, and a still unidentified infant. Wounded were three police officers and two civilians.
The wounded policemen were identified as Insp. Joven Acuesta, chief of the Bumbaran municipal police in Lanao del Sur, and two other police officers, identified as SPO1 Pacifico Cabudoy and PO1 Nathaniel Ibal.
The wounded civilians were Ali Citi, 53, who was hit on her left breast, and Ali Aminsalam, 37, who sustained a gunshot wound on her right arm. They were onboard a a Toyota Fortuner which was not part of the police convoy, authorities said.
The infant, who was hit on the forehead, was with Citi and Aminsalam in the vehicle when the incident happened at around 5:30 p.m. in Barangay Tikalaan, Talakag town, Bukidnon. Police said the vehicle carried seven passengers, who were also wounded.
A report from the Bukidnon provincial police said the SUV was on its way to Wao town in Lanao del Sur from this city.
The PNP-10 tagged the NPA as the ones responsible for the attack but the communist rebels have yet to issue a statement as of this writing.
In an interview, one of the victims, who requested anonymity due to security reasons, said they were caught by surprise.
“We were shocked. We did not expect there were bandits firing at us,” the victim said.
The victim said the shooting started when the Bumbaran police car overtook them.
“They (attackers) thought we were with the police,” she said.
Senior Supt. Benedicto Pintor, Bukidnon provincial police director, believes the perpetrators to be NPA members operating in the area. (PNA/Jigger J. Jerusalem)