CASTILLA, SORSOGON – An election officer, a civilian and two policemen were wounded when the vehicle they were riding at was ambushed by an undetermined number of armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) while traversing along the national road at Palanas, Masbate at 11:18 in the morning, Oct. 27, 2013.
Based on initial reports, Mrs Merlinda F. Alvarez, the Municipal Election Officer of Palanas, Masbate together with a group of policemen from Palanas Municipal Police Station (MPS) led by Police Senior Inspector (PSI) Baltazar L. Valenzuela, were on their way back to Palanas MPS on board a mobile car from Barangay Parina of same municipality where they conducted election related duties when they were ambushed.
The wounded policemen who sustained gunshot wounds in the upper right butt and left side of the stomach respectively were identified as PO1 Benito Lim Bailon and PO1 Wilbert D Pultino. Meanwhile, the civilian who was hit at his lower leg was identified as a certain Mr Joey Villareal.
Colonel Samuel Felipe, Commander of the Philippine Army Task Force Rodeo based in Milagros , Masbate strongly denounced the election related violent incident (ERVI) perpetrated by the communist terrorists (CT’s). “This violent incident is a clear manifestation of the CT’s blatant disrespect to a legal government process- the election. The CNN through their armed component, the NPA is desperate to sow fear at terror through violent activities during the Barangay elections in order to ensure that their fielded candidates will win”, Colonel Felipe said.
The Task Force “RODEO” Commander further stated that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP) will do everything in their capacity, as deputized by the COMELEC to ensure the secured and peaceful conduct of Barangay elections tomorrow. (BQCadungan, PA/PIA-5, Sorsogon)