Initial reports coming from northern Luzon indicate that at least 19 policemen, including two officers, were killed or wounded in an ambush carried out by NPA forces in the town of Baggao, Cagayan.
The report has just reached the Armed Forces of the Philippines general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Major General Lysander Suerte, commander of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division based in Isabela, said that his initial report noted that only six men were killed and eight others were seriously wounded.
Information from Suerte says the ambush happened around 4pm in Barangay Santa Margarita, involving some 64 personnel of the Regional Public Safety Battalion.
Suerte also said that NPA rebels, numbering at least 100, used improvised explosives.
The Tactical Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force sent two Bell 412 helicopters armed with rockets and 50 calibre machine guns to provide cover for the ambushed policemen.
Two other Army divisions were also dispatched to reinforce the pinned down officers.
Ground troops from the 52nd Division Reconnaissance Company and 17th Infantry Battalion, along with personnel of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC), were dispatched to reinforce the pinned down policemen.