PNP on alert in wake of NPA attacks in southern Luzon
By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / Philippine News Agency
MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday ordered all personnel and units to be on alert for possible attacks by communist terrorists on their positions and headquarters.
PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar made the order following recent attacks of the New People's Army (NPA) against civilians in Southern Luzon.
He added that the three separate attacks in Masbate City, Legazpi City, Albay and Buenavista town in Quezon are clear indications that an order was issued to the NPA to step up their attacks to project strength amid the series of mass surrender of communist rebels and their supporters.
“I have already ordered all police units and our personnel to be alert on possible NPA attacks in their respective AORs (Areas of Responsibility). I also expect police commanders to intensify the monitoring and intelligence-gathering against this communist armed group,” Eleazar said.
He added that these attacks are retaliations for the series of defeats suffered by the NPA and its allies against government forces.
In Masbate City, a college football player and his uncle died after they were hit by an anti-personnel mine (APM) which was purportedly planted by the communist terrorists on June 6.
On the same day, four civilians, including a lawyer, were injured when NPA rebels ambushed a group of policemen who responded to the burning of a telecom cell site in Legazpi City.
In Buenavista, Quezon, a militiaman was killed while another was injured when communist rebels ambushed a group of government forces who was on its way back from a gift-giving activity on June 5.
Eleazar said part of his instruction is to ensure that the police station defense plan is activated especially in areas where the NPAs are known to operate.
He added that chiefs of police should also coordinate with the local military forces in their areas for augmentation of personnel in case of any eventuality.
The use of APMs is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention adopted by the international community, prohibiting the acquisition, production, stockpiling, and use of weapons.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)