Tag Archive: Mati City

Four soldiers and a New People’s Army (NPA) member were killed while five other security personnel were injured as the rebel group attacked the police station in Mati City, Davao Oriental, Sunday night, authorities said Monday.

Killed were Pfc. Daniel Damansila Jr., Pvt. Ryan Amigo, Pfc. Wil Christian Resuelo, Sgt. Adel Lucanan, and a still unidentified NPA member, said Colonel Romeo Brawner, spokesman of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command.

Injured were one policeman, Pfc. Virgil Logronio, Pfc. Emerito Castillo, Pfc. Ian Mark Babiera, and Pfc. Zaldy Canonero, Brawner said.

About 50 rebels carried out the attack around 7:30 p.m., he said.

Some of them, who were on an Elf truck, two vans, and five motorcycles, arrived at the police station and fired on it so policemen fought it out with them, Brawner said.

Members of the Davao Oriental provincial police reinforced the police station upon learning the incident, Southern Mindanao regional police spokesman Superintendent Antonio Rivera said.

Troops of the Army’s 701st Brigade on armored personnel carriers also reinforced the policemen and engaged the rebels in a running gun battle, Brawner said.

A policeman was wounded while an NPA member was killed during the clash in Brgy. Poblacion, he said.

Elements of the 104th Division Reconnaissance Company were also sent to join the pursuit, but were landmined around 8 p.m.

Members of that unit were on the way to the clash site when a landmine explosion hit the truck were riding in Sitio Magay, Brgy. Don Martin Marundan, only 300 maters away from the 701st Brigade headquarters, Brawner said.

Two landmines exploded near the brigade headquarters, Rivera said.

Damansila and Amigo died on the spot. Resuelo was initially wounded along with Logronio, Castillo, Babiera, and Canonero, but he expired in the hospital later, Brawner said.

Lucanan, on the other hand, died after being shot at a rebel checkpoint near the Saint Camillus Hospital in Brgy. Matiao.

Lucanan was unarmed and in civilian clothes at the time, but he introduced himself as soldier because the men at the roadblock were in PNP uniforms, Brawner said.

Lieutenant General Aurelio Baladad, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, condemned the organized attack, particularly the use of landmines.

He said the attack was meant to embarrass the government since Davao Oriental was already declared “insurgency free” in 2013.

“They (NPA) gathered rebels from other provinces to attack and disrupt the already peaceful lives of the people of Davao Oriental,” Baladad said.

Major General Eduardo Año, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, called the attack a “desperate move” by the NPA amid developmental programs of Davao Oriental.

“We condemn this attack, which was notably carried out in a populated community… Davao Oriental remains a development-ready province. We will keep it that way,” he added. (John Roson)

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(Update) Unidentified armed men shot dead a radio reporter in Mati City, Davao Oriental, Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Senior Supt. Perpetuo Macion, Davao Oriental Provincial Police director, identified the victim as Nestor Sapidan Libaton, a reporter and blocktimer at the Catholic Church-owned DXHM AM and Spirit FM.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m., while Libaton and fellow reporter Eldon Cruz were riding a motorcycle along the National Highway in Sitio Panumbon, Brgy. Don Enrique Lopez, from Tarragona.

Three men on another motorcycle reportedly overtook Cruz’s motorcycle then shot Libaton, his backrider.

“Nakasunod allegedly ‘yung gunman, nag-overtake, then binaril siya (Libaton),” Macion said, citing initial investigation results.

Libaton died on the spot because of bullet wounds while assailants were seen fleeing towards Tarragona.

Policemen found at the scene five empty shells of a caliber-.38 handgun, an empty shell of a caliber-.45 pistol, and a misfired caliber-.38 ammunition.

Probers have yet to determine if the killing was related to Libaton’s work as a media practitioner.

“We are trying to determine if the killing was work-related, or stemmed from family problem and ownership of land,” Macion said.

“From what other media practitioners here have told me so far, his (Libaton) station, being managed by the Church, does not focus much on commentaries and has a spiritual theme,” the police official said.

Police have formed special investigation task group Libaton to follow up on the case. (John Roson)

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Intelligence operatives arrested two suspected Abu Sayyaf members in Mati City, Davao Oriental, for kidnappings in Basilan, police said Saturday.

The two were arrested around 2 p.m. Friday in Brgy. Matiao, Supt. Jose Carumba, Southern Mindanao regional police spokesman, said in a phone interview.

Members of the Mati City Police and the Army, along with operatives of Military Intelligence Groups 9 and 11, carried out the arrest, he said.

Carumba declined to reveal the suspects’ names and present location because of a policy that “sensitive” information on “terror-related” issues can only be released by the government’s Anti-Terrorism Council.

He, however, said the two are suspected of being Abu Sayyaf members and are subject to arrest warrants issued by the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court Branch 9 for kidnapping and serious illegal detention with ransom.

“Sila (suspects) po ay may warrant of arrest for being part of the 1999 kidnappings sa Basilan, after nung incident naging inactive na, lumayas, dito nagtago,” Carumba said. (John Roson)

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