Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY — Hot pursuit operations are now being conducted by the members of the police provincial headquarters of Biliran against the other suspects that burned two passenger buses that killed two drivers in Barangay Talahid, Almeria town.

Chief Supt. Arnold Revilla, regional police director, in a press statement, said that the two suspects have been arrested but there are other perpetrators who remain at large and believed to be hiding in the mountains of Almeria town.

Two bus drivers were killed when a group of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels burned down two buses early dawn on Saturday. Police officials said it was the first suspected rebel attack in the province, previously considered as the only insurgency-free province in the region.

The Biliran police provincial director, Senior Supt. Alfredo Sabornido, said the fatalities were sleeping inside the buses when the attack occurred. They were identified as Arnel Montano, 43, of Mondragon, Northern Samar and Edwin Bargola, 47, from Sorsogon City.

Hours after the grisly incident, police authorities were able to arrest two men who were on board a motorcycle and were brought to the provincial police headquarters for questionings.

The two men were identified as Jesie Oledan, 23, of Barangay Macalpi, Carigara, Leyte and Teodoro Macalalag of Barangay Candigahub, also in Carigara. Several items were recovered from the suspects including the motorcycle they used.

The two were positively identified by Joaquin Sabetsana, the barangay chairman of Barangay Talahid.

Because of the incident, Chief Supt. Revilla said he has directed all police provincial offices in the region to heighten security patrols and intensify intelligence-gathering to avert similar rebel offensives.

Revilla also ordered police stations all over the region to implement the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS) for police visibility.
He also called for close police and community interaction to prevent similar incidents. (REYAN ARINTO)

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