Five policemen, including the deputy police chief of Caramoran, Catanduanes, were injured in an ambush by suspected New People’s Army members early Saturday.

Inspector Rene Bea and two other policemen suffered slight injuries while two more were brought to the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital in Legazpi City for further treatment, Catanduanes provincial police director Senior Supt. Lito Pitallano said in a phone interview.

The attack occurred around 1:30 a.m. while Bea, PO1 Rene Bayonga, PO1 Edcel Brutas, PO1 Rommel Cardel, PO1 William Bagasbas, and three other policemen were passing through Brgy. San Jose onboard a Toyota Hi-Lux patrol car.

“Nagresponde sila kasi may pinatay doon sa Brgy. Milaviga, dinala ‘yung bangkay sa Pandan for autopsy tapos ibinalik, n’ung pauwi na sila sa station dun na sila inambush,” Pitallano said.

About 30 rebels fired upon the patrol car when it passed through the “killing zone,” a road portion sandwiched by a mountain slope and a cliff that goes down to the sea, according to the provincial police chief.

The vehicle was heavily damaged as it fell off the ravine, according to a report from the Bicol regional police.

Some of the ambushed policemen, however, were able to jump off and trade shots with their unseen attackers for 30 minutes, Pitallano said.

“Madilim pa noon kaya undetermined kung may casualties sa kalaban, sniping na ‘yung nangyari, sporadic,” he said.

Police and military personnel have been deployed to the area to pursue the attackers, Pitallano said. (John Roson)

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