MANILAThe Philippine National Police (PNP) has directed its units in areas with known presence of Communist insurgents to be on their toes to prevent incidents similar to the attack on the town hall and police station of Lapinig, Northern Samar last week.
Speaking to newsmen, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the PNP would also investigate the possible liability of police officials in the area in connection with the incident, which resulted in the loss of at least 10 service firearms from the PNP along with other equipment.
Part of the investigation would look into why there were only six policemen on duty at the time, Albayalde said. Albayalde noted that the incident was earlier reported as a mere harassment attack before the true extent of the ransacking was bared.
"(W)e are reminding our troops, especially in critical areas and infested to undertake target hardening measures," Albayalde added.
Albayalde said the decision to relieve the personnel involved should serve as a warning to other officials and the "need to emphasize our one strike policy against lackluster performance" by PNP personnel.
Police Regional Office 8 (Eastern Visayas) director Chief Supt. Mariel Magaway was relieved from his post following the attack by communist rebels early Friday morning and replaced by PNP Aviation Security Group director Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos.
Albayalde also ordered the relief of all personnel of the Lapinig Municipal Police Station in Northern Samar and their immediate superior officers as investigation into the circumstances surrounding the raid is underway.
Reports said at least 100 New People's Army members laid siege to the town around 2 a.m.
Two policemen, PO1 Edison Aguirre and PO2 Gerry Quilicol, were wounded in the reported initial firefight with the armed group. They were taken to the Gamay District Hospital for medical treatment.
Others relieved from their post were Insp. Noli Montebon, Lapinig chief of police; Chief Insp. Juan Byron Leogoe, commander of the 2nd Northern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company; and Northern Samar provincial director Senior Supt. Romeo Campomanes. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency