Around 25 policemen who were supposed to respond to a murder incident in KM 27, Tikalaan in Talakag, Bukidnon, on Wednesday, October 10, were greeted with volley fire from suspected communist rebels who set up an ambush just four kilometers away from the crime scene.
Members of the Talakag town police and Police Regional Mobile Force Battalion-Northern Mindanao (RMFB-10) were about to put up a checkpoint at KM 23 of said village when they were fired upon by an unknown number of armed men.
However, no officer was hurt. Authorities are still checking whether there were casualties on the enemy’s side. Police said the firefight lasted about 15 minutes.
Initial investigation disclosed that a certain Wenceslao Caumban, of Poblacion, Kalilangan town, was stabbed to death by unidentified suspects. The victim sustained three stab wounds on the neck and hematoma on the right eye, which were believed to have caused his death.
Superintendent Surki Serenas, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), said the perpetrators were believed to be comrades of the armed group that attacked the responding policemen. Serenas said the victim possibly had with him a huge amount of money while on his way home when the suspects waylaid him. Investigators are pointing at a possible extortion by suspected NPA fighters. The ambush may have been staged to delay the police’s response, Serenas said.
“Investigation is still ongoing with regards to the slain person. We are looking into two angles which could either be robbery-homicide or extortion gone violent,” Serenas said.
“The ambush of our responding troops only led us to think that the NPA could have been involved in the killing”. Talakag (PNP/MCAG)