MANILA -- Two soldiers and a New People's Army (NPA) fighter was killed as government security forces foiled a rebel attempt to capture the Mati City Police Station in Davao Oriental Sunday night.
10th Infantry Division spokesperson Vergel Lacambra said the NPA attempt fizzled out as duty police officers stood their ground and were reinforced by troopers of the 701st Infantry Brigade 30 minutes after the attack, which started around 7:30 p.m.
A running gun battle occurred, killing two troopers and one NPA fighter.
Joint Army and Philippine National Police personnel based in Mati City have now contained the situation. Armored vehicles were mobilized to secure the heavily populated area from further NPA attack.
Lacambra said government troopers are now pursuing the fleeing rebel force. Nearby government forces in the province were also alerted.
The attack came as a surprise following a declaration by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that Davao Oriental is insurgency-free.
10th Infantry Division Commander Eduardo Año considered the attack as a desperate nuisance move by NPA amidst the strengthening developmental programs of Davao Oriental anchored on a stable peace and order climate prevailing in the province.
“While we strongly condemn this attack by the lawless NPA bandits notably even in a populated community, we will continue working with different stakeholders to make sure Davao Oriental remains a development-ready province. All together, we will keep it that way," Año said. (PNA)