PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Tuesday ordered all police forces nationwide to be on full alert for possible attacks by the New People’s Army which is known for preying on all ‘targets of opportunity’ and even using banned improvised explosive devices.
The top cop issued the directive amid the series of atrocities perpetrated by the armed communist group in Bicol and in Quezon that included civilians as casualties.
Gen. Eleazar said that three separate attacks in Masbate City, Legazpi City and Buenavista town in Quezon are clear indications that an order was issued to the NPA to step up their attacks to project strength amid the series of mass surrender of communist rebels and their supporters.
“I have already ordered all police units and our personnel to be alert on possible NPA attacks in their respective AORs (Areas of Responsibility). I also expect police commanders to intensify the monitoring and intelligence-gathering against this communist armed group,” the PNP chief said.
“Matinding dagok ang inabot ng CPP-NPA-NDF sa sunod-sunod na pagsuko ng kanilang mga kasamahan kaya inaasahan natin na palalakasin nila ang kanilang pag-atake para magkunwaring malakas pa rin sila,” he added.
In Masbate City, a college football player and his uncle died in a roadside bombing and subsequent gun attack of the NPA. In Legazpi City, four civilians, including a lawyer, were injured when communist NPA rebels ambushed a group of policemen who responded on the burning of a telecom cellsite.
In Buenavista, Quezon, a militiaman was killed while another one was injured when communist rebels ambushed a group of government forces who were on their way back from a gift-giving activity.
“Itong mga nangyaring ito ay indikasyon ng isang utos mula sa mataas na opisyal ng CPP-NPA-NDF na palakasin ang kanilang pag-atake. Kaya dapat lang na maging handa tayo at always on a defensive mode to prevent any of their plan,” said the PNP chief.
Gen. Eleazar said that part of his instruction is to ensure that the police station defense plan is activated especially in areas where the CPP-NPA-NDF are known to operate.
He added that chiefs of police should also coordinate with the local military forces in their areas for augmentation of personnel in case of any eventuality.
BICOL COPS PRESS OFFENSIVE VS MASBATE BOMBERS
Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) director, Brigadier Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo said local police maneuver forces are still in hot pursuit of the NPA guerrillas who detonated a landmine which killed a varsity football player and his uncle in Masbate City on Sunday morning In a report to Gen. Eleazar, the official said that the troops clashed with the suspected bombers five hours later in a nearby village.
Estomo said security forces are continuously pressing pursuit operations against the CPP-NPA group behind the deadly landmine ambush that killed Masbate Electric Cooperative (MASELCO) employee Nolven Tepalit Absalon, 34, and Keth Balandra Absalon, 21, a varsity football player of Far Eastern University in Barangay Anas, Masbate City around 6:45 a.m. Sunday.
A 16-year old kin of the two fatalities was also wounded in the attack that came while the victims’ family were on a bicycle fun ride going to Bgy. Titong.
The attackers detonated an IED as the bikers approached and opened fire at the victims with assault rifles.
Responding police units from the Masbate City Police Station, the 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company of the Masbate Police Provincial Office, the PNP Maritime Group, the Provincial Explosives and Canine) and Scene of Crime Operations (SOCO) recovered five PVC pipe debris, 20 pieces cut 8-mm round bar bomb enhancement, one fragment of blasting cap, three misfired cartridge cases for caliber 7.62mm, 60 pieces of fired cartridge cases for caliber 5.56mm, and 19 fired cartridge cases for caliber 7.62 at the scene.
Brig. Gen. Estomo said that as PNP units fanned out to nearby barangay in search of the attackers, a composite police team engaged an NPA band in a 10-minute gunbattle in Bgy. Mapiña at 11:30 in the morning.
The group was led by one Eddie Rosero alias ‘Ka Star’ and Jesmar Noel Flores alias ‘Ka Jesmar,’ both known NPA platoon leaders in the province.
No immediate reports of casualties were noted on both sides but government troops recovered eight pieces of 8mm round bar being used by the NP as a ‘Bomb Enhancement,’ one improvised blasting machine, more or less 70 meters firing wire, assorted cartridge cases for caliber 5.56mm and 7.62mm and personal belongings.
Gen. Eleazar said all adjacent police stations were directed to conduct checkpoint operations to possibly intercept the fleeing suspects while private hospitals and clinics are being closely monitored for any of the wounded guerrillas who may seek treatment of gunshot wounds.