DILG condemns attack on health workers and police on COVID-19 mission
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today 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 fetch COVID-19 vaccines last week.
“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 na kukuha sana ng bakuna ay tinambangan nila,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
Año said that Calbayog City Health Office staff escorted by Calbayog City Police Station (CPS) personnel were on their way to the Department of Health Regional Office 8 in Palo, Leyte when they were suddenly attacked by the Communist terrorists last July 27.
According to PNP Samar, the team heard a burst of gunfire and a loud explosion from an improvised explosive device (IED) 20 meters behind their convoy while traversing the Maharlika Highway, Barangay Lale, Pinabacdao, Samar.
After ensuring the safety of the health workers, the escorts from the Calbayog PNP immediately engaged the terrorists who immediately retreated and fled from the scene 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,” said Año.
To ensure the smooth and efficient rollout of the vaccines in thne communities, the DILG Secretary 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.
Call for citizen action
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.
“Nananawagan po kami sa mga mamamayan na tumulong para mapanatili ang kaligtasan at kaayusan ng inyong mga pamayanan. Huwag po kayong umasa lamang sa mga kapulisan dahil kayo man po ay may papel na dapat gampanan para sa inyong kaligtasan at kapayapaan,” Malaya said.
“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.
Malaya expressed dismay that the CTGs still continue to spread senseless violence in the far-flung areas even as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
DILG PRESS RELEASE
PR Code No. 2021-08-03-01
August 3, 2021