PNP in hot pursuit of alleged NPA rebels behind Masbate explosion on Sunday

(Eagle News) — The police are in hot pursuit of members of the New People’s Army who detonated a landmine in Masbate on Sunday, June 6, killing a varsity football player and his uncle, and injuring a minor, the Philippine National Police said.

According to the PNP, policemen managed to engage the bombers five hours after the explosion that killed Keth Balandra Absalon, 21, a Far Eastern University varsity football player; and his uncle, Nolven Tepalit Absalon, 34, a Masbate Electric Cooperative (MASELCO) employee.

The 16-year old kin of the two fatalities was also wounded in the incident that came while the three victims  were on a bicycle fun ride going to Barangay Titong.

According to the PNP, a composite PNP team engaged the CPP-NPA group led by Eddie Rosero and Jesmar Noel Flores in the firefight  in Barangay Mapiña at 11:30 a.m.

The firefight lasted for ten minutes.

The PNP said there were no immediate reports of casualties from both sides but the suspects managed to escape.

Government troops recovered one improvised blasting machine, more or less 70 meters of wire, assorted cartridge cases for a caliber 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm and other personal belongings, the PNP said.

According to the PNP, all adjacent police stations have been directed to conduct checkpoint operations and to check private hospitals and clinics  for wounded people seeking treatment.