A policeman was killed while another was injured when alleged New People’s Army (NPA) members raided the police station of Roxas, Palawan, Wednesday morning, authorities said.

SPO3 Monsito Rabang was killed while SPO2 Pablo Acosta injured, Chief Supt. Edgar Layon, deputy director for administration of the Mimaropa regional police, said in a report sent to Camp Crame.

The rebels also carted away several firearms, Senior Supt. Reynaldo Jagmis, Palawan Provincial Police director, said in a phone interview.

Jagmis said the incident occurred shortly after around 20 armed men arrived at the Roxas Police Station on two vans carrying the registration plates VVC-660 and WTU-246, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

“Nagpanggap na mga sundalo sila (rebels) at may itu-turnover daw na huli, pero nung tinatanong na ng desk officer kung nasaan na ‘yung huli, isa-isa nang nagpasukan at tinutukan ‘yung mga pulis,” Jagmis said.

Rabang was shot when he tried to disarm one of the rebels. Acosta also tried to resist so he was also shot, Jagmis said.

Acosta was rushed to a local hospital and later transferred to a medical facility in the capital, Puerto Princesa City, the provincial police chief said.

Later in the day, security forces found the vans used by the rebels abandoned in Port Barton, San Vicente, Supt. Imelda Tolentino, Mimaropa regional police spokesperson, said.

“They (rebels) left a letter denouncing the existence of mining,” Tolentino said in a statement.

2Lt. Anne Abrigo, acting spokesperson of the Armed Forces’ Western Command, said the military was informed of the incident past 10 a.m.

Troops, supported by an OV-10 plane and a S76 Sikorsky helicopter, were deployed to pursue the attackers.

Reinforcements were also sent to Roxas, while policemen and other soldiers were ordered to conduct checkpoints.

The raid came just three days after alleged NPA members briefly held employees and burned a backhoe of Citi Nickel Mining Corporation in Sofronio Española town, near Palawan’s southeastern tip, on Sunday.

All police stations in the province have been directed to intensify intelligence-gathering operations to prevent further attacks, Jagmis said. (John Roson)

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