Cops nab wounded NPA rebs at Surigao hospital

Authorities in Surigao del Sur on Sunday took custody of two wounded communist rebels, who sought treatment at the city’s district hospital shortly after attacking last Saturday a police station in nearby Trento town in Agusan del Sur.

Chief Superintendent Reynaldo Rafal, regional director of the Philippine National Police-Caraga Region, said police elements acting on a tip from civilians nabbed the two suspects being treated at the hospital.

Rafal said Bislig City police operatives went to the hospital and came upon the suspects Sammy Calibayan and Ricky Salde, who sustained gunshot wounds.

Also, he said the suspects promised to bring authorities to the site where some of the slain rebels were buried after the foiled attack on the Trento police station.

Earlier, eyewitnesses claimed they saw the armed men carrying several casualties while fleeing from Trento.

Police Inspector Charity Galvez, Trento Chief of Police, claimed the rebels who attacked them were about 250-strong.

An Army brigade commander, however, placed the number of attackers at 40.

Galvez said they were able to engage the attackers in a gunfight that lasted about an hour. But one of her civilian aides, Salvador Rall Jr., died in the attack while PO1 Joel Lazarte and PO3 Mhel Hubo were wounded.

The attackers left on foot, leaving behind the three trucks they used during the siege, she said.

Also, Galvez said that a six-man team reinforcement from the town of Sta. Josefa was ambushed while on its way to Trento.

Former civilian militiaman Virgilio M Perocho died in the ambush while Alexander Lagulao of the Agusan del Sur Provincial Treasurer’s Office was wounded, she added. [See story: 3 killed in Agusan Sur police HQ attack]

Moreover, Galvez said, a reinforcement team from the Philippine Army's 75th Infantry Brigade got snagged by a landmine blast while on its way to Trento, but the Scout Rangers did not suffer any casualties. — Ben Serrano, with a report by Earl Victor Rosero/LBG, GMA News

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