One person was killed and at least one more was injured when members of the New People’s Army attacked a police station and burned some road construction equipment in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, authorities reported.
Lanuza Mayor Anialao Dawog, in a statement, identified the fatality as Aldren Daraman, 27, and the wounded, Melvin Buniel, 28.
Both were residents of Madrid town and served as “watchers” of the equipment owned by MR1 Construction Company, he said.
The Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command, in a separate statement, said 15 under Guerrilla Front 30 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee carried out the attack around 9 p.m. Thursday.
Fifteen rebels fired on the Lanuza Police Station, prompting the lawmen on duty to retaliate and troops of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion to respond, it said.
As the rebels withdrew while still exchanging fire with authorities, some of them set fire to two of three backhoes parked 250 meters away from the police station and shot the equipment’s watchers, according to the military.
The firefight lasted for about 20 minutes, it said.
Soldiers pursuing the rebels encountered them again in Sitio Poog of Brgy. Maitum, Tandag town, around 12:30 p.m. Friday. Troops recovered an AK-47 rifle from the clash site.
Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, Eastmincom chief, condemned the rebel attack and called it “an attempt to be relevant at the expense of civilian lives.”
He said the burnings hamper progress for residents, as the targeted equipment were being used to build a much-needed diversion road from Brgy. Gamuton to Brgy. Zone 3 of Lanuza.
Dawog, for his part, called on rebels to stop their extortion activities and killing of civilians.
“Abandon your futile armed struggle and let us resolve our differences through peaceful means,” he said.