“What is important is the commander’s ability to hit back and get even with the enemy based on his lessons learned in combat and his good leadership qualities.”
So explained a retired police officer as he slammed the Philippine National Police for relieving three police officials following an ambush by communist rebels in Cagayan on Monday that left eight policemen dead and seven others injured.
“It is a wrong policy to relieve the ground commanders in the field who suffered battle casualties because it is very important that the leader of the embattled troops should know better the terrain and culture in the area. He must be allowed to carry on his mission, employ his counter attack since he has more reasons to do so after losing his men,” he added.
PNP immediately relieved Supt. Nestor Lobos, commander of the SAF’s 2nd Special Action Battalion; Senior Insp. Ronnie Albino, the commander of the 24th Special Action Company and Supt. James Cipriano, intelligence chief of Cagayan police.
Taking their cudgels, Frank Villaroman, a retired PNP official and former chief of the Cagayan Valley Regional Police, said that their relief could only emboldened the rebels to stage more attacks in their area.
The former police official said that losing men in the battlefield is just normal since casualties are expected in any warfare.
Lobos and Albino were ordered relieved from their respective units a day after the NPA rebels ambushes a group of police commandos that were reportedly on their way for a physical fitness examination in Allacapan, Cagayan.