PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas yesterday ordered stepped up pursuit operations against the New People’s Army rebels who ambushed a team of policemen in Marabut, Samar on Thursday afternoon killing one officer.
“We mourn the loss of another brother-in-arms, Police Corporal Earl Hembra who offered the supreme sacrifice in the service of our country and people. His death came while performing his duty as an officer of the law,” Sinas said as he vowed “justice for the victims of this atrocity.”
“The PNP joins the Filipino civil society in the strongest condemnation of this latest manifestation of disregard for human life by the communist New People’s Army with its continued use of internationally-outlawed landmines to further propagate the communist cause to topple government and seize power thru terror and violence,” Sinas added.
Sinas ordered Police Regional Office 8 director, Brigadier Gen. Ronaldo F. de Jesus to mobilize all tactical and maneuver forces in Eastern Visayas for the province-wide manhunt of the NPA guerrillas who attacked the policemen who were performing an administrative mission in Marabut.
De Jesus said police maneuver units from the Samar Police Provincial Office and the PRO8 Regional Mobile Force Battalion are now in the surrounding areas in search of the suspects.
The PRO8 director said that at at around 12:56 p.m. Thursday, Cpl. Hembra and his colleagues from the Marabut Municipal Police Station identified as Patrolman Joseph Ricky Gacgacao and Cpl. Jerome Distrajo were escorting a detainee identified as Nestor Lumagbas Jr. back to their station following a court hearing in Basey, Samar when they were ambushed by the gunmen in Barangay Logero.
“The team was on an administrative mission to bring an accused person to court when they were treacherously attacked,” said De Jesus.
The official said Lumagbas, a former militiaman facing a rape case was also wounded in the gun attack.