MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Friday ordered the Police Regional Office in the Bicol Region (PRO 5) to focus on the presence of the communist terrorist New People's Army (NPA) in Masbate, following the recent series of attacks against civilians in the province.
"It is not enough to condemn their acts because harsh words and shame do not have an effect on these groups. I am directing PRO 5 chief, Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo to give special attention to the communist terrorists operating in Masbate," Eleazar said in a statement.
Reports said Valiente Mangubat, chairperson of Barangay Villa Inocencio in the town of Placer, and his four companions survived an attack by the NPA terrorists on August 17.
The attack came only a few days after communist terrorists abducted and killed three street vendors in the town of Palanas on Aug 14.
"These acts are unacceptable and we need to put an end to these acts of violence against our fellow Filipinos in Masbate," he added.
On June 6 college football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin Nolven also died in an anti-personnel mine attack perpetrated by the communist rebels in Masbate City.
Part of Eleazar’s order is to strengthen the police-community relations in Masbate in order to deny the communist terrorist of its mass support base and eventually clear the entire province of its influence.
Eleazar added that he also placed the entire police forces in Eastern Visayas under high alert after successful military operations killed at least 19 communist rebels in Eastern Samar on Aug. 16.
A separate firefight in Northern Samar also resulted in the death of a policeman and a communist rebel.
The Communist Party of the Philippines- NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)