MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) officer in charge Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Saturday ordered the Police Regional Offices in Region 4-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) and Region 5 (Bicol) to go after members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who recently staged an ambush in Labo, Camarines Norte.
Five police officers were killed, while two others were hurt in the ambush last Friday night.
In a statement, Eleazar said he has ordered the directors of the PRO 4-B and PRO 5, Brig. Gen. Felipe Natividad and Brig. Gen. Bartolome Bustamante, respectively to “to mobilize their forces in order to hit back not only on those responsible but also on the NPA operating in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AOR).”
“Therefore, in consultation with our chief PNP, Police General Debold M Sinas, and in coordination with the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana, I am ordering the Regional Directors of PRO4A, Police Brigadier General Felipe R Natividad and PRO5, PBGen Bartolome Bustamante, to mobilize their forces in order to hit back not only on those responsible but also on the NPA operating in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AOR),” said Eleazar in his order.
Aside from this, Eleazar also ordered Bustamante to conduct a “thorough investigation” to identify those who have “aided” the communist rebels and to bring them to court.
“The CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) has been given all the opportunity to sit down in order to give peace and development a chance for the Filipino people. Yet over the years, they repeatedly turned down peace negotiations and instead resort to cowardly attacks even in the time of the pandemic,” Eleazar said.
“Clearly, these people do not understand the language of peace so will deal with them in (a) manner that they fully understand our message that we shall never tolerate this kind of terrorism activity,” he added.
The PNP officer in charge also thanked the two injured police officers for their courage during the ambush.
“I thank you for your courage and I will personally meet you to express my gratitude on behalf of the entire police forces,” Eleazar said.
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