Three police officers were killed and another three were injured in the attack last Thrusday.
Photo courtesy of PNP
Palace denounces NPA attack on FDA chief's convoy
( - October 21, 2018 - 2:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Palace on Sunday condemned an ambush on the convoy of Food and Drug Administration Director General Nela Charade Puno in a town in Camarines Sur on Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo assured the public the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

"We commend the policemen who died in the line of duty and express our deep condolences to their bereaved families and loved ones," Panelo said. "We likewise send our prayers and thoughts for the speedy recovery of the policemen who were wounded during this brazen assault."

The attack in Barangay Napolidan in Lupi left three police officers—Senior Police Officer 1 Percival Rafael, PO3 Carlito Navarroza and PO1 Ralph Jason Vida—dead. Three other police officers—PO1s Jonathan Perillo, Ruby Buen and Rodolfo Gonzaga—were wounded in the ambush.

Puno, whom the police were escorting to Daet in Camarines Norte was unhurt.

NPA claims responsibility for attack

The New People's Army on Saturday said its Norben Gruta Command was responsible for the attack.

In a statement, it said the attack showed that NPA presence is still strong in the province despite military claims that is no longer a threat in the Bicol region. It said in Filipino that further attempts to downplay the NPA's "ablity to defend the people will be answered with more frequent and more forceful tactical offensives."

It also justified the attack by claiming provincial police had been involved in human rights violations in the deaths of drug suspects as well as in the killings of "revolutionary activists".

Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde, who met with the chiefs of police of towns along Puno's route, has said the communist rebels are trying to make their presence felt after peace talks bogged down.

Albayalde said he has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.

He also assured the public that police and military personnel have launched operations to to prevent rebels from attacking non-combatants and civilians.

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