By Aaron Recuenco
Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has ordered all police chiefs to be on the alert against possible attacks following the death of two policemen and the wounding of two others when gunmen assaulted the Parang Municipal Police Station in Sulu.
Gamboa said police chiefs and commanders, especially those assigned to critical areas, should have a camp defense plan as a form of systematic approach in driving away any attackers.
“All PNP units in the region were reminded to be alert and vigilant to thwart similar attacks by lawless elements,” Gamboa said.
On June 13, gunmen fired at the Parang police station and engaged the policemen in a firefight. The attackers immediately fled after sensing the arrival of reinforcements from the Special Action Force.
Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesman, said the attackers could be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, noting that Sulu is one of the strongholds of the extremist group.
He said they are not discounting the possibility that the attack was carried out by another lawless group.
“We really have to increase our level of preparations in order to ensure that this kind of attack is not repeated,” said Banac.
Police stations have been the favorite targets of communist rebels in the past due to poor defense plans. The rebels would ransack the armory of the police station.
But in the past few years, the station defense plan was strengthened and partnerships with the military were beefed up.