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Eleazar orders offensive vs NPA in Samar ambush

July 30, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 478 views

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Thursday ordered a massive pursuit operation against a group of New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas who ambushed a convoy of vehicles carrying police and local health workers out to fetch COVID-19 vaccines in Pinabacdao, Samar.

The top cop also directed Police Regional Office (PRO) 8 director Brigadier Gen. Ronaldo F. de Jesus to launch a full legal offensive not only against those responsible for the attack but also against leaders of the CPP-NPA-NDF in the area.

“To condemn this another attack is not enough dahil hindi na tinatablan ng hiya at masasakit na salita ang mga taong ito. What is needed is a decisive action to stop them from doing the same kind of terrorism activities,” said Eleazar.

A report from the PRO8 said that personnel of the Calbayog City Police Station and health workers from the Calbayog City Health Office were on their way to the Department of Health Regional Office in Tacloban City to get the COVID-19 vaccines when the vehicle carrying them were strafed with automatic gunfire by the guerrillas in Bgy. Lale, Pinabacdao around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The leftist gunmen also detonated a powerful improvised explosive device during the attack.

However, the Calbayog City policemen were able to return fire to protect themselves and the health workers from their NPA attackers. No one was reported hurt on the side of the government during the incident although police are checking reports that the NPA suffered some casualties when the policemen retaliated.

De Jesus said the attackers fled in different directions after the Calbayog City policemen started to maneuver to engage their attackers.

“Nakakagalit na pinagtangkaan nilang patayin hindi lang ang mga pulis kundi pati ang mga medical frontliners na kukuha sana ng bakuna na agad ibibigay sa mga kababayan natin sa Calbayog City pagdating nila,” Eleazar said.

“Hindi lang ang mga pulis at mga health workers ang pinagtangkaan nila ng masama dito, kundi pati na rin ang mga kababayan natin sa Calbayog City na naghihintay ng bakuna,” he added.

The PNP chief said the attack carried out by the CPP-NPA-NDF is another proof of total disregard on the life of civilians, citing the case of college football player Keith Absalon and his uncle Nolven Absalon who died in NPA ambush in Masbate City, and watchman Eldrin Daraman who was killed when the NPA attacked a construction site in Surigao del Sur both last month.

De Jesus said all police units in the province and the rest of the region have been placed on heightened alert to thwart similar NPA attacks.

He also reported two armed encounters between security troops and the NPA in Northern and Eastern Samar this week.

The 1st took place in Bgy. San Jose in Catubig, Northern Samar last Monday between members of the 2nd Northern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company and the 12th Special Action Battalion of the PNP Special Action Force and an undetermined number of NPA gunmen.

The 2nd took place in Bgy. Malvar in Balangkayan, Eastern Samar around 6:15 a.m. last Tuesday. The PRO8 director said local policemen were on patrol in the area when they encountered some 15 heavily-armed NPA rebels

De Jesus said that his men recovered one AR15 automatic rifle with a defaced serial number with silencer; two long caliber .45 magazines with 20 live ammunition; one 9mm pistol with a magazine with eight bullets; two short M-16 magazines with 16 ammunition; a 12-gauge shotgun with six bullets; assorted clothing materials, food supplies and medicines, a tent and suspected NPA documents at the scene of the two clashes.