The Lianga town fiesta last August 15 was rudely interrupted by about 100 New People's Army guerilla fighters who chose not to join the festivities in Lianga but decided to pay a not so cordial visit to the police station in San Agustin some 26 kilometers north of Lianga. The unexpected noontime visit by the rebels caught the dozen policemen on duty by surprise but the latter responded immediately with the appropriate gunfire. When the noisy reception, which lasted for about an hour, was finished at least two of the unwelcomed visitors were killed and several others were reported to have been carried away by their comrades after being bloodied by the unexpectedly violent reception by the police. One policeman, was however, wounded in the unfortunate encounter which ended with the disappointed gatecrashers making a hasty departure.
In Lianga, fiesta revilers from San Agustin and farther on were unable to return home after filling their bellies as well as their plastic bags from the abundant fiesta banquets and had to impose upon their hosts for additional board and lodging for the night. Rebels had unfairly blocked the national highway in several areas leading to San Agustin in order to prevent government troops from spoiling their excursion there and land mines were reportedly buried in some spots to provide an explosive reception to those troopers stubborn enough to try to intervene.
The peace and order situation by the morning of the 16th had already stabilized and the highways have been reported clear of any offending barricades and explosive obstacles. The local PNP authorities have declared a major tactical victory and announced that government troops are conducting the usual hot pursuit operations against the fleeing uninvited rebellious guests.
If you are smiling as you read this then shame on you! I'm not.