Two policemen were killed while three other people were injured when suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members fired upon a police checkpoint in Makilala, North Cotabato, Thursday morning, police said.

Killed were PO3 Rufino Sumugat and PO1 Raul Pablo, both of the PNP Highway Patrol Group, North Cotabato provincial police director Senior Supt. Cornelio Salinas said.

SPO2 Ponciano Pahkiat, also of the HPG, and civilians Jerry Maya Sirinon and Policarpio Villamea were injured in the attack, HPG director Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said.

The incident occurred around 9:20 a.m. while members of the provincial HPG unit were manning the checkpoint along the National Highway in Sitio Patulangon, Brgy. Malasila.

A Kia bongo (JEJ-224) heading for Kidapawan City stopped 50 meters away from the roadblock then several armed men on board opened fire at the HPG personnel, Salinas said.

The rebels, who numbered about 15, included two “amazons” or female NPA guerillas, Espina said.

The attackers left the vehicle and fled on foot after the incident. The vehicle was later found to be registered to a certain Ramon Milan Del Corro, according to the HPG chief.

Members of the Makilala Police, Provincial Public Safety Company, as well as the 57th and 38th Infantry Battalions, were still pursuing the assailants as of this writing. (John Roson)

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