By Martin Sadongdong
Full alert status raised by police in Butuan City after several suspected members of New People’s Army (NPA) reportedly attacked a local police station Friday morning, according to the Northeastern Mindanao Police Regional Office (PRO-13).
Chief Supt. Noli Romana, regional director of PRO-13, also allayed fears among locals as he said the police force in Butuan city is ready for possible retaliation.
Romana likewise lauded the efforts of his men for successfully defending their post after their clash with the NPA suspects.
A report from the Butuan City Police Office (CPO) said about 40 NPA members attacked the Station 5 in Barangay San Mateo around 9:30 a.m. today.
The troops on the ground, about 20 of them, managed to withstand the attack and the rebel group retreated when police reinforcement shortly arrived, the report added.
The NPA attack on Butuan police station was the latest since President Duterte announced earlier this month that he is again open for the resumption of peace talks with the communist rebel group.
The PNP national headquarters has yet to issue a statement on the incident in Butuan.
However, PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. John Bulalacao previously said the 190,000-strong police force would fully support whatever decision President Duterte would make regarding the resumption of peace talks as he urged the Communist Party of the Philipppines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP) to stop launching attacks on government security forces and be “more serious.”