first_img“It took us two years to resolve thismatter because we considered all their appeals and the evidences. Now, we havereached a final decision. Their suspension already started,” said PoliceBrigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, regional police director. After15 minutes of ransacking the police station, the rebels left. Twenty cops were suspended while theirpolice chief was demoted one rank as recommended by the Regional InternalAffairs Service of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6). Fromwhat the PRO-6 gathered, the rebels, armed with long firearms, arrived in atruck (a Canter) and quickly surrounded the Maasin police station. Some started serving their suspensionlast month, December 2019, while others started theirs on Jan. 1 this year. Following the embarrassing raid, thePRO-6 sacked the entire Maasin police force. They also took the policemen’spersonal belongings, including wallets, a laptop, mobile phones,watches and money. Maasin is some 25 kilometers fromIloilo City. The rebels were long gone when troops from the RegionalPublic Safety Battalion (RPSB) of the PRO-6 reached the police station togetherwith Senior Superintendent Christopher Tambungan, then the deputy regionaldirector for operations. Minutesafter the raid, Ka Julio Montana, spokesperson of the NPA-Panay (CoronacionChiva “Waling-Waling” Command) issued a statement praising the NPA-NapoleonTumagtang Command for the successful operation. Someof the rebels were women and two were seen entering the police station. NPA’S REASONS Thetwo women rebels pretending to be civilians asked the police to have somethingrecorded in the police blotter Then all of a sudden more rebels barged into thepolice station through the back door and handcuffed the nine stunned policeofficers on duty. Therebels did not harm the nine police officers present at the police station buthandcuffed them. They also used the police station’s patrol car to flee. “This year expect stricter policiesand internal cleansing in the PRO-6,” said Pamuspusan. Before leaving the police station, therebels – numbering between 40 to 50 – distributed statements to residents explainingthe raid. The raid was NPA-Panay’s answer, too,to Oplan Kapayapaan all-out war campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippinesand Philippine National Police against the revolutionary movement, Montanaadded. “Theytold me to move away and that they won’t harm civilians. They also said theywere only targeting the police station and municipal hall,” said Amboy. Then Maasin police chief Captain RayCordero was demoted one rank. He is now assigned as deputy station commander ofthe Sipalay police station in Negros Occidental. NPA rebels raided the Maasin policestation on June 18, 2017. Without firing a shot, they effectively immobilizedthe policemen, took at least 15 firearms, ammunition, handheld radios, policeuniforms and even used the police patrol car as getaway vehicle.  Onewoman witness said the rebels used a megaphone to warn people not to go nearthe Maasin police station. KaJulio Montana enumerated several reasons for the raid. He accused Maasinpolicemen of extortion, with poor vendors as their primary victims. HOW IT HAPPENED The other policemen of the stationwere not around during the raid. AccordingAmboy, the rebels told him to back off. Oplan Kapayapaan has resulted torampant human rights violations such as illegal arrests, bombings ofcommunities, forced evacuation of villagers, and killings of suspected rebels,among others, said Montana. Of the 20 suspended policemen, 13 got60-day suspension for gross incompetence. Three were suspended for 30 days forsimple neglect of duty. “Theywere disarmed, handcuffed then made to lie on the floor,” said Binag in a pressconference hours after the raid. “Angdami nila. Pinaligiran nila ang police station.” The daring, broad daylight incursionon the Maasin police station was swift. Within 15 minutes beginning around10:30 a.m., the rebels shanghaied eight M16 rifles, four Glock .9mm pistols,five handheld radios and their base, two laptops, P29,000 cash, and jewelry. ILOILO City – Over two years after NewPeople’s Army (NPA) rebels successfully raided the police station of Maasin,Iloilo in June 2017, the town’s policemen finally got punished for negligence. ‘SURPRISE’RAID Witnessessaid the rebels fled toward the town of Alimodian. Oneof those who witnessed what happened was then Vice Mayor Francis Amboy (now themayor). He quickly rushed to the area after receiving information about therebels’ presence. Montanaalso claimed the Maasin police tolerated the proliferation of illegal drugs andillegal gambling in the town. TheRPSB was ordered to take over the Maasin police station after the NPA raid.Chief Superintendent Jose Hawthorne Binag, then the Western Visayas policedirector, sacked all of Maasin’s police force, including the police stationchief, Senior Inspector Ray Cordero who was not around during the raid. TheMaasin police patrol car was recovered in Barangay Cagay, Alimodian while therebels abandoned their truck in Barangay Ingwan also in Alimodian./PNlast_img