By TARA J. YAP
ILOILO CITY – A policeman and a barangay councilor were wounded when New People’s Army (NPA) rebels detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Barangay Pugahan, Lambunao, Iloilo Friday.
“The intention was intended for ambush,” said Police Col. Gilbert Gorero, chief of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), about the incident.
Gorero, who visited the incident site, said that the NPA is already planning to attack government forces as a temporary camp was found nearby.
The victims were on their way to Barangay Panuran in Lambunao near the boundary of Janiuay where NPA rebels clashed with the Philippine Army 12th Infantry Battalion last Thursday.
The police patrol car was damaged due to the impact of the explosion and fell into the side of the road. Prior to the Friday attack, the NPA admitted they were behind the attempted attack on policemen last March 3 who were conducting road clearing operations for the inauguration of an agro forestry support facility in Janiuay.
Gorero also said it is highly possible that the NPA will stage more attacks for its upcoming 52nd anniversary on March 29. Police in southern and central Iloilo, including Janiuay, Calinog, Lambunao, Leon, Maasin, Igbaras, and Tubungan, were ordered to be on high alert for the next few weeks. Gorero condemned the NPA attacks against policemen and reiterated the call for them to give up the armed struggle.