A woman tribal leader was killed while a policeman was injured in an ambush by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon, Saturday morning, a military spokesman said.

Major Eugenio Osias, Army 4th Infantry Division spokesman, identified the fatality as Datu Melody Delamansi, and the injured, a certain PO1 Flores.

Delamansi, a local tribe’s “tagahusay” or peace mediator, was with four members of the Cabanglasan Police when ambushed by about seven armed men in Brgy. East Poblacion around 9:30 a.m., Osias said.

“The ambushers are suspected NPA members, we strongly believe that they are the ones responsible for this crime,” he said.

Delamansi, a strong advocate against communism, “has been receiving threats from the NPA,” Osias said, adding that the former’s two brothers were also killed by rebels previously.

After the ambush, other members of the Cabanglasan Police came to aid the victims while some pursued the attackers up to Brgy. Iba, where a firefight ensued, Osias said.

The firefight was reportedly ongoing as of 1 p.m.

Members of the 8th Infantry Battalion have been sent to reinforce the policemen while soldiers from the patrol base in Brgy. Cananga-an are are blocking the gunmen’s possible route, Osias said. (John Roson)

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