Malacañang on Saturday said the government would seek justice for the policemen killed in an ambush staged by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.
“The Palace wishes to express its deepest condolences to the grieving families and relatives of the six policemen killed in yesterday morning’s ambush in Magsaysay, Guihulngan City in Negros Occidental,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“We assure everyone that we would not rest until justice is served against those responsible for this crime,” he added.
The local police identified the fatalities as Guihulngan City police chief Supt. Arnel Arpon, Senior Police Officer (SPO) 2 Mecasio Tabilon, SPO2 Chavic Agosto, SPO1 Jesael Ancheta, Police Officer (PO) 2 Alvin Paul Bulandres, and PO2 Alfredo Dungue.
Three other policemen, namely SPO4 Jerome Delara, PO2 Jorie Maribao and PO3 Jordan Balderas, were injured.
The Palace official said the wounded policemen would also receive assistance from the government.
“The government is likewise extending assistance to the three police officers who were wounded in this treacherous attack by the New People’s Army,” Abella said.
The attack came after President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday that he was no longer interested in pursuing peace negotiations with the communist group after its armed wing, the NPA, continued to stage attacks against government troops.
On Friday, Duterte declared that government forces were ready to fight the communist rebels “for another 50 years.”
“Let us stop talking. I’m tired. It’s a great expense to be sending people there for nothing so I might as just well lose the money. Whatever. Let’s start fighting, stop talking,” the President said in a speech in Davao City.