Plus ... surprise, surprise ...A platoon of government troops was responding to a report of communist election extortion when waylaid by New People’s Army rebels at around 5:30 a.m. in the village of Panaytayan, said Colonel Carlos Quita, provincial military commander in Oriental Mindoro. A three-hour gun battle also resulted in the wounding of seven soldiers with undetermined casualties on the side of the rebels, he said. Quita, who flew to the area Saturday morning, said government troops “fought it out literally to the last bullet.”
The implementation of the total gun ban might continue even after the May elections, if the existing prohibition on private individuals from carrying firearms as imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would result in a significant decline in the number of gun-related crimes, a police official said Friday. Chief Superintendent Rolando Añonuevo, Calabarzon police director, said the Philippine National Police (PNP) might allow the gun ban to continue in accordance with the National Firearm Control Program set by the PNP. The gun ban is supposed to end on June 9, also the end of the country’s election period for the year.