CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Authorities said Tuesday they are investigating two suspects in the attack on a police checkpoint that wounded two officers in Barangay Cabuluhan, Cabanglasan town, Bukidnon province.
Maj. Eddie Boy Manalo, chief of the Cabanglasan town police, said the motorcycle-riding perpetrators drove by the checkpoint Monday evening and threw an explosive at Staff Sergeant Junmark Suico and Patrolman Alvin Claunan.
“Both Suico and Claunan are doing fine. Their injuries are not that severe,” Manalo said in a telephone interview.
Suico and Claunan were resting in a waiting shed near the checkpoint when the incident happened around 7:30 in the evening, Manalo said.
Other police officers manning the checkpoint managed to fire back at the attackers, who sped off towards Barangay Mandaing in Cabanglasan, he said.
Manalo said the attackers could have been communist New People’s Army (NPA) fighters whose movement has been drastically curtailed following the intensified military and law enforcement operations in Bukidnon.
Manalo said the Philippine National Police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal is still investigating if the bomb thrown at the police officers was a grenade or some other incendiary device.
The police, he added, are assisting the Philippine Army in the conduct of its anti-insurgency operation in the province.
Meanwhile, the NPA denied that it was responsible for the burning of a chapel and four houses in Barangay Limonda, Opol town, Misamis Oriental on May 28.
In a statement posted on the Communist Party of the Philippines (www.cpp.ph) website on May 31, the NPA in Misamis Oriental said it was “not responsible for the reported torching” contrary to report in local newspapers and online news sites.
In a previous interview, Maj. Evary Bacunawa, Opol municipal police chief, said they received information that the burning was carried out by members of an NPA unit led by a certain “Decoy”.
Lt. Theofratus Pia, Misamis Oriental provincial police spokesperson, said in a separate interview that prior to the torching of the structures, government troops and NPA fighters figured in an encounter in Barangay Mainit, Iligan City.
Pia said it was probable that the retreating NPA, after clashing with state forces, burned down the church and houses as a distraction so they cannot be followed by government forces.