TACLOBAN CITY – Samar Governor Reynolds Michael Tan condemned an ambush, believed to be perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA), on a patrol vehicle that claimed the life of a police officer in Marabut, Samar Thursday, December 10.
“One person’s life is not reparable. We should all condemn killings, including political killings…Those are acts of cowardice,” he said.
Three police officers of the Marabut Police and a detainee were onboard a patrol vehicle, and were on their way back from a court hearing in the nearby town of Basey when a roadside bomb was detonated along the highway in Barangay Logero.
After the blast, the group was fired upon by an undetermined number of armed men, who were believed to be members of the NPA.
Responding police officers found P/Corporal Lawrence Yrl Hembra lying inside the patrol car, fighting for his life, while the detainee sustained a gunshot wound on the left side of his head.
Hembra was immediately taken to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in the city where he was declared dead on-arrival.
Lt Col. Edgar Allan Orbito, commander of the 63rd Innovator Battalion, said the attack was isolated, and a diversionary tactic of the Communist rebels.
He added that for the past two to three months, they have not monitored any movement of the NPA in the area.
Orbito explained that the use of an improvised explosive device (IED) was an indication that the attack was launched by the NPA because, based on their investigation, there was a blast before the firing against the patrol vehicle.
“The Eighth (8th) Infantry Division and the 801st Brigade, together with the Police Regional Office 8, are conducting continuous offensive operations. The NPAs want to divert the attention of the Armed Forces to Marabut to protect their remnants who cannot move in Eastern Samar,” the official disclosed.
Tan emphasized that the provincial government was serious about ending the local conflicts in the province.
“We have allocated P25 million for our Local Social Integration Program apart from the E-CLIP of the national government. They will receive up to P100,000 from the provincial government while waiting for the E-CLIP benefits,” he said.