The Philippine National Police slammed Friday, Dec. 17, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), for allegedly launching tactical offensives against police and military personnel who were involved in typhoon “Odette” response missions in Surigao del Sur and Samar.
PNP Chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said criminal charges will be filed against the against the identified suspects behind the attacks.
The first attack happened last Wednesday, Dec. 15, when a convoy of Philippine Army soldiers and civilians engaged preemptive evacuation operations in Barangay Cancavan, Carmen, Surigao del Sur was ambushed by suspected communist rebels around 10:55 a.m.
Initial investigation by Police Regional Office-Caraga (PRO-COR) identified the CPP-NPA leader responsible for the Surigao del Sur attack as a certain “Ka Megan,” alleged leader of Guerilla Front 30 operating in the Caraga region.
Carlos said two civilians on board a motorcycle were wounded in the attack while Army soldiers onboard a pick-up truck initiated counter-ambush maneuvers and were able to extricate the victims.
Minutes later in Eastern Visayas, three individuals were also wounded when suspected communist rebels attacked police and local government officials who were prepositioning relief supplies and provisions in Barangay del Rosario, Matuguinao, Samar.
Wounded in the attack were Police Corporals Abner Balante and Manuel Carlos, both Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) troopers; and a civilian identified as Jomar Diaz.
“It appears these two incidents could be part of deliberate and simultaneous attacks coordinated at a higher level of the CPP-NPA leadership,” Carlos said.
Meanwhile, the PNP Chief ordered cops who were deployed in disaster-response missions to be vigilant and intensify their security operations to resist possible attacks from the CPP-NPA.