In a statement, PRO-13 Director Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr. said personnel from Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office (SDNPPO), the troopers from the 30th Infantry Battalion and the local government unit of Sison were conducting “Barangayanihan” in Barangay Iman when they were attacked by the NPA rebels at 4 p.m. Monday.
An armed encounter immediately ensued that resulted in the wounding of an Army personnel.
The NPA rebels immediately withdrew after the five-minute clash.
“This act is clear evidence that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the NPA, show no respect for peace and unmindful on the effort of the government in ensuring that the programs and services are being delivered to the community,” Caramat said.
He said the action of the NPA insurgents also put at risk the lives of civilians who joined the Barangayanihan activity to avail of the basic programs and services of the government.
The same attack also endangered the lives of local officials, led by Sison Mayor Karissa Fetalvero-Paronia and the representatives from the different line agencies of the government, he added.
“The Barangayanihan is an initiative of the Philippine National Police that exemplifies the true spirit of the Filipinos who would naturally look after each other in times of disasters in Barangay Ima, Sison,” Caramat said.
A police intelligence report indicated that the attackers belonged to the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16B of Guerrilla Front 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA.
“The Caraga police is determined to pursue and arrest the members of these lawless armed groups responsible for numerous atrocities in the region. We are calling the peace-loving Caraganons to report the presence of the rebels to the nearest police or army units. Let us join efforts to suppress the insurgency in the region,” Caramat said.
The Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Council has labeled the CPP, NPA, and the National Democratic Front (NDF) as terrorist groups.
The United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand also listed the CPP-NPA-NDF as a terrorist organization. (PNA)