Philippines: April 26, 2002



Philippine police killed one New Peoples Army (NPA) rebel, wounded three and captured 11 more in a series of encounters in Batangas' Malvar town, most lured to their fate by text messaging.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, local lawmen pursued a white van that failed stop at a highway checkpoint at about 23:30 on 20 April. When they caught up with the van in the town, its occupants started spraying bullets. Eventually, the cops cornered the NPA group and captured five rebels.

The policemen discovered that the captured rebels had sent text messages to their comrades through their mobile phones, asking for reinforcements, so the cops continued the text message exchanges and told the rebels friends to rescue them in the town.

When the NPA team arrived at the rendezvous point in a green van, three more rebels were captured after a brief exchange of gunfire. The police again sent text messages, pretending to be NPA rebels wounded in combat and asking for reinforcements.

The third group of NPA rebels reached the pickup point in a jeepney and another firefight started, resulting to one rebel killed and three more captured. Three more rebels were wounded but managed to escape. - Adam Geibel

On Jolo, troops battled with Abu Sayyaf rebels, killing two of them. Ten civilians were wounded by the crossfire. 


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