THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) condemned the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) for the ambush in Samar of a convoy of local health workers escorted by police on their way to Leyte to pick up COVID-19 vaccines.
“The CPP-NPA-NDF’s height of insensitivity, callousness, and opportunism knows no bounds. Wala na talaga silang pinipiling tao, lugar o sitwasyon para pumatay at maghasik ng terorismo. Patunay lang ito na sila ay kaaway ng bayan at walang malasakit sa mga mamamayan dahil kahit ang ating mga medical frontliners nakukuha sana ng bakuna ay tinambangan nila,” said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
Año said personnel of the Calbayog City Health Office escorted by members of the Calbayog City Police were on their way to the Department of Health Regional Office 8 in Palo, Leyte when they were suddenly attacked by the Communist terrorists on July 27.
According to PNP Samar, the team heard a burst of gunfire and a loud explosion from an improvised explosive device (IED) some 20 meters behind their convoy while traversing the Maharlika Highway, Barangay Lale, Pinabacdao, Samar.
After ensuring the safety of the health workers, the Calbayog police engaged the terrorists who immediately retreated towards the mountainous area of the barangay.
“Mabuti na lang at walang nasugatan o namatay sa insidente dahil sa pananambang na ito sa ating mga health workers. We congratulate the Samar PNP for ensuring the safety and security of our health workers,” Año said.
To ensure the smooth and efficient rollout of the vaccines in the communities, Año directed the PNP to assign additional police personnel to COVID-19 vaccination operations to maintain the peace and order situation in the community.
“Inaatasan ko ang ating mga kapulisan na magtalaga ng mga tauhan para maproteksiyunan ang mga gawain ng COVID-19 teams lalo na sa mga lugar na may patuloy na banta ng mga Komunistang terorista,” he said.
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and NTF ELCAC spokesperson Jonathan Malaya called on the public to immediately report sightings of CTGs in their localities to local authorities.
“Maaari kayong magtext, mag-PM o tumawag sa pinakamalapit na PNP station, DILG office, o barangay para i-report kapag may namataan kayong mga NPA sa inyong mga lugar,” he added.