STILL unidentified gunmen attacked a group of Presidential Security Group members sent as an advance party for President Duterte’s visit today in Marawi City, injuring seven of the President’s guards and two Army soldiers, police said.
A Philippine National Police report said that troops from the PSG Stag ‘F’, headed by one Senior Inspector Pintal were traversing the national highway in Bgy. Matampay, Marawi City at 10:35 a.m. yesterday when their led M35 vehicle was hit by two simultaneous improvised explosive device explosions followed by a burst of automatic fire from the suspects.
As a result, the troopers, who were on their way to the Army’s 103rd Brigade Headquarters in Marawi City from Iligan City, were injured and immediately airlifted to the nearest hospital.
Police said the PSG troopers and the soldiers managed to return fire, inflicting an undetermined number of casualties on their attackers.
The wounded PSG personnel were identified thru their surnames as Captain Zamora, Staff Sergeant Damaso, Sgt. Garcia, Corporals Inova and De Leon and Privates First Class Gonzales and Panisa. The wounded soldiers from the Army’s 65th IB were identified as Corporals Galintia and Corpuz.
The troopers were sent to Marawi City a day ahead of the presidential visit.
Reports quoted PSG spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Aquino as saying that an investigation is already underway to identify the attackers and the IED used.
Aquino, however, said it is too early to say if the attack was aimed at the President or only a result of the ongoing operations in the area.
He also assured the public that the PSG members were “well-trained and prepared to ensure the safety of the President.”