TACLOBAN CITY ? The police in Eastern Samar has been placed on red alert status as a result of Saturday's ambush on policemen in Arteche town by suspected communist rebels.
Senior Supt. Manuel Cubillo, Eastern Samar police provincial director, explained that the red alert status was declared to ensure that the police could respond immediately to any attacks by the communist rebels.
Cubillo said all policemen in the province were directed to stay within their respective assignments while the red alert was in effect, adding that they would not be allowed to go on leave.
A still undetermined number of suspected New People?s Army rebels staged an ambush against policemen from the Regional Mobile Group and the local police of Arteche in Eastern Samar around 10:45 a.m. last Saturday.
The ambush in barangay Catumsan resulted in the death of Insp. Al Tandiado, leader of the RMG, and the injury of PO1 Elmer Tizado, P01 Kenneth Tafalla, P01 Sherwin Portajada and a civilian identified as Noe Operario.
The rebels allegedly used landmines during the ambush and took away three M-16 and one M-14 Armalite rifles issued to the policemen.
The policemen were with Arteche Mayor Rolando Evardone on their way back to the town proper from barangay Tambo when they were waylaid by the rebels in Catumsan. Evardone, who was not hurt in the ambush, went to Tambo to check on alleged illegal cockfighting in the barangay, about four kilometers away from Catumsan. /INQUIRER