(Eagle News) — Philippine National Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar has ordered “all-out” pursuit operations against alleged members of the New People’s Army who ambushed a convoy of health workers and police officers who were about to fetch COVID-19 vaccines for use in Calbayog’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar said he directed the Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8, Police BGen Ronaldo De Jesus to start the legal offensive not only against those responsible for the attack on July 27 but also against NPA leaders in the area.
“To condemn this another attack is not enough dahil hindi na tinatablan ng hiya at masasakit na salita ang mga taong ito. What is needed is a decisive action to stop them from doing the same kind of terrorism activities,” Eleazar said.
According to the PNP, personnel from the Calbayog City Police Station and health workers from the Calbayog City Health Office were on their way to the Department of Health Regional Office in Tacloban City to get the COVID-19 vaccines when the vehicle they were boarding was repeatedly shot in Barangay Lale, Pinabacdao, Samar.
After an initial burst of gunfire, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was also used by the rebels, the PNP said.
The PNP said the rebels fled after the incident.
No one was reported hurt.
“Hindi lang ang mga pulis at mga health workers ang pinagtangkaan nila ng masama dito, kundi pati na rin ang mga kababayan natin sa Calbayog City na naghihintay ng bakuna,” he said.
Eleazar said the incident was proof again that the NPA doesn’t value civilians’ lives.
He cited the case of college football player Keith Absalon and his uncle Nolven Absalon who died in an NPA ambush in Masbate City and watchman Eldrin Daraman who was killed when the NPA attacked a construction site in Surigao del Sur both last month.