MALACAÑANG on Saturday condoled with the families of six policemen killed in an ambush staged by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella assured that the government would seek justice for the killings of the policemen.
"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," 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.
Around 60 armed NPA rebels reportedly ambushed a team of police personnel on board a patrol vehicle in Magsaysay village, Guihulngan City on Friday.
The local police identified the fatalities as Guihulngan City police chief Superintendent 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 reportedly injured.
Abella 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," he said.
The attack came after President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday that he is no longer interested in pursuing the peace negotiations with the communist group after its armed wing, the NPA, continue to stage attacks against security troops.
On Friday, Duterte declared an all-out war against the communist rebels, saying that the government forces are ready to fight them "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 delivered Friday in Davao City.
"Let us renew the fighting for another 50 years because this is what you want," he added. (SunStar Philippines)