2 cops, 1 civilian injured in encounter with suspected NPA

BACOLOD CITY – Two policemen and a civilian were wounded after a brief encounter with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at Sitio Candida, Barangay Biao, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental Sunday, Feb. 13.

Wounded cops were identified as Police Lt. Charles Richard Casalan, deputy police chief of Binalbagan Municipal Police Station; and Police Corporal Julius Tranquillero.

The area in Sitio Candida, Barangay Biao, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, where an encounter happened between the suspected NPA rebels and the policemen Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office/Manila Bulletin)

Police Maj. Ellendie Rebusquillo, Binalbagan town police chief, said the patrol vehicle ridden by 10 personnel responded to a report in the said village, where a person was found dead.

However, while the patrol was on their way to the area, unidentified armed men allegedly fired gunshots and an explosion occurred.

Rebusquillo said that policemen immediately retaliated and engaged in a 15-second firefight with the armed men.

Rebusquillo said that Casalan suffered a gunshot wound in his right hand while Tranquillero suffered an injury in his left eye.

Rebusquillo said that a bystander in the area also suffered a minor injury.

Rebusquillo said they are probing if the attack was planned, or it happened by chance, since they have not monitored any threat prior to the incident.

He, however, noted that there were sightings in the area and it was reportedly infested by rebels, Rebusquillo said.

Rebusquillo said they are coordinating with the Army regarding the clearing and monitoring.