5 young cops died in encounter with NPA

Police and military pursuit operations are underway, backed by PNP and AFP air assets, against a group of communist terrorists that clashed with police security forces assigned to protect a hinterland barangay in Camarines Norte on Friday night.

As of 6am on Saturday, reinforcement troops have reached the scene of the 3-hour encounter in Purok-6, Barangay Dumagmang, Labo, Camarines Norte to retrieve the bodies of five police rookies who died while protecting the village against the communist terrorists that attempted to lay siege on the peasant community.

Two other wounded policemen were evacuated to the hospital for treatment. Authorities withheld the names of the deceased pending notification of the next of kin.

PNP Officer-in-Charge, Police Lieutenant Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar said two multi-role police helicopters were re-routed to Bicol from the Visayas to join the pursuit, while three military helicopters are awaiting go-signal to launch air-ground operations.

The dead and wounded were elements of 1st Platoon of the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company whose police detachment was totally destroyed in the attack.

Reports said the police personnel held back the communist terrorists in a 3-hour firefight to protect the barrio against the attackers.

Eleazar has instructed Police Regional Office 5 Director for Bicol Region, Police Brigadier General Bartolome Bustamante to provide all medical needs of the wounded and ensure appropriate honors to the dead and benefits for the orphaned families.

“These five young men held their ground and died with their boots on while protecting the barrio against communist terrorists. They deserve all due recognition and honors for their heroism,” Eleazar said. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE