Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gunmen torch 5 Victory buses, wound 7

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Six policemen and a civilian were wounded shortly after midnight yesterday when suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked the Victory Liner Bus Terminal on Avenida Street, Poblacion, here, torching five buses and shooting it out patrolling police.

Superintendent Harris Fama, local police chief, said the heavily-armed men engaged police on patrol around 12:40 a.m., wounding six of eight policemen in action.

Fama identified the wounded cops as PO3 Daniel Sison, PO3 Alex de Guzman, PO2 Reynaldo Domalanta, PO1 Herman Camba, PO1 Armeno Abarabar and PO1 Ramon Valencerina.

"Our personnel also managed to hit several armed men as evidenced in information coming from civilians who witness the withdrawal of the suspects," he said, adding that the wounded were out of danger.

As the gunmen made their getaway aboard two white vans, police noticed that a Victory Liner bus had been burning.

Bus conductor Villamor Mu-yanos of Zambales was caught sleeping in the bus when it was torched and sustained third-degree burns, said Fama.

A few minutes later, four other buses were already engulfed by fire, leaving nothing minutes later but carcasses.

While the communist rebels surfaced as the main suspects in the incident, probers are eyeing other angles as motive in the attack, such as labor dispute which emerged as the motive in the burning of buses in Cubao, Quezon City a few months ago.

Fama said checkpoints and chokepoints have already been established in Pangasinan and nearby provinces as augmenting police and military combatants have been called in to join in hot pursuit operations. By LIEZLE BASA • AARON RECUENCO - TEMPO

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