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PIA Press Release

Alert guards thwart rebel attack on Masbate cell site

by HM Cabunoc

Masbate City (22 June) -- Alert security guards manning the Globe cell site foiled an attempt by communist rebels to set on fire the transmitter facility in Esperanza town in Masbate, military report said Monday.

Colonel Lope Dagoy, commander of the 85th Infantry Battalion, said that about five suspected New People's People's Army (NPA) rebels attacked the Globe cell site in Poblacion, Esperanza town at around 11:30 p.m. over the weekend.

Dagoy said that the rebels lobbed at least four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the power generator but alert security guards fought-off by firing their shotguns at the attackers who were positioned outside the fence.

"The rebels ran away when the'blue guards' started firing their weapons to defend the facility. The generator set suffered minor dents and the transmitter is still fully operational," Dagoy said.

These civilian guards must be commended for their heroic actions because this acts of bravery must be the fine example to all other personnel in the security industry, said Dagoy.

Since January 2009, a total of six Globe cell sites had been attacked in the Bicol, Sorsogon tops the list with two attacked cell sites while the provinces of Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay and Masbate recorded one NPA attack each.

"The rebels are only capable of attacking'soft targets' such as lightly-defended telecommunications facilities and heavy equipment used in the construction of infrastructure projects. Normally, they are attacking the facilities owned by businessmen who refuse to pay the extortion money to the rebels," said Dagoy said.

The attack on the Globe cell site coincided with the harassment by five rebels at about 10 p.m. on the same day at the 85th Infantry Battalion's company base in Uson town.

No one was reported injured in the five-minute firefight which ensued. Pursuit operations are ongoing to hunt the fleeing rebels.

In Albay, troops of the 2nd Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. John Oberio chanced upon three rebels while in the act of looking for food in Agpay village, Guinobatan, Albay at around 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

The rebels immediately fled towards the bushes leaving behind one bandolier with five steel magazines and at least 100 rounds of live ammunition. (DPA 9ID PA/PIA) [top]

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