GOVERNMENT forces are conducting pursuit operations against the suspected communist fighters who ambushed and killed four policemen in Ayungon, Negros Oriental.
In a statement, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said the "terrorists also looted the dead of their firearms, valuables and personal belongings, and drove off with the victims' motorcycles."
Police criticized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People's Army (NPA) over the ambush.
"For the nth time, the CPP/NPA has shown its insincerity to forge a peace agreement with government by continuing to wage its campaign of terror and oppression against the peasants, and tribal communities in the countryside," PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde stated.
The PNP chief echoed President Rodrigo Duterte's call on the NPA fighters to lay down their arms, embrace the localized peace talks, and return to the fold of government.
Albayalde, in behalf of the 190,000-strong PNP, offered his deepest condolences to the families of Police Corporal Relebert Beronio, Patrolman Raffy Callao, Patrolman Roel Cabellon, and Patrolman Marquino de Leon.
The four junior officers belonged to the 704 Mobile Force Company of the 7th Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) who were waylaid by suspected NPA fighters in Sitio Ilaya Yamot, Barangay Mabato in Ayungon town in Negros Oriental at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 2019.
The 7th RMFB, in a Facebook post, mourned the death of their four colleagues and called for justice.