CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines – Suspected members of the New People’s Army detonated a set of improvised explosive device (IED) Wednesday morning in Jiabong town, some 10 kilometers south from this city.
Two of the policemen on-board the Hilux Patrol Car bearing body No. 522 were injured and were rushed to the nearest hospital for medical attention.
Sketchy reports said the police car was heading for Catarman, Northern Samar when it was attacked around 11:40 a.m. in the vicinity of Barangay Jia-an.
The PNP responders suspect the perpetrators are communist rebels.
Police have mounted hot pursuit operations.
Earlier on Monday, an IED was also detonated on the roadside in Barangay San Jorge in Las Navas, Northern Samar, resulting in the death of one civilian passing by the area.
After that explosion, the body of an unidentified civilian was found in the driver’s seat of a Hilux vehicle with plate No. UXO 602.
Elements of the 52nd Infantry Battalion have recovered at least 19 anti-personnel IEDs at Barangay Guirang in Basey Samar.
Officials of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division based in Barangay Maulong, this city, condemned the successive attacks by rebels, saying they manifest “utter disrespect for the dignity of human life.”
The military said, “It is also a clear violation to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.”
The attacks on government forces and civilians started after President Rodrigo Duterte hinted at a plan to cancel the peace talks between the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF last week.
In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Duterte lashed out at the rebels for talking peace while mounting ambuscades, including that perpetrated against a convoy of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Arakan, North Cotabato.
Duterte vowed to deal with the NPAs after the Marawi crisis.