PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said on Tuesday, August 20, that he ordered the Civil Security Group (CSG) to look into the possible lapses of the security agency of a private firm in Balingasag town in Misamis Oriental after they were attacked and disarmed by members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
“The investigation seeks to look into possible administrative and operational lapses by the private security provider of this vital installation,” he said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
Around 6:30 a.m. on Monday, NPA rebels arrived at the quarry site of Minergy Coal Power Plant and took the AK-47 assault rifles of the five company guards who were then on duty.
They also took several rounds of ammunition, radio transceiver sets and other equipment of value before fleeing.
Albayalde said the blue guards of AY76 security agency were apparently caught flat-footed and did not offer any resistance when the raiders arrived at the scene.
Misamis Oriental Police Director Robert Bahian has ordered his men to pursue the rebels involved in the attack.
For his part, Brigadier General Edgardo de Leon, 403rd IB commander, denounced the attack on a civilian facility and tagged it as another "NPA violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL)."
“The NPA, as a non-state armed group, deliberately attacked an ‘undefended area’, as it is not a military compound. The people they attacked are civilians who have no direct participation in the armed insurgency conflict because they are plain civilian security guards. The NPA (rebels) did not distinguish civilians from combatants, which is a clear disrespect (for) humanitarian law," he said.
De Leon cited another IHL ground related to the civilian-owned firearms which the rebels carted away as well as the NPA's deception in disguising themselves as security inspectors in order to gain access and stage the attack.
Meanwhile, Albayalde said that almost simultaneously, the terrorists launched another harassment in an isolated government post in adjacent Claveria town, apparently as a diversion to the raid in Balingasag.
“In stark contrast to that unfortunate incident in Misamis Oriental, I am proud to take note of the gallant stand put up by personnel of the Taysan police outpost in Legazpi City on Sunday evening against suspected CPP-NPA terrorists who attempted to lay siege on the police precinct after a seven-minute firefight,” he said.
The PNP Chief said that all these CPP-NPA hostilities in the countryside over the weekend are apparently aimed at creating acoustic effect to planned urban mobilization of militant cause-oriented groups and front organizations in Metro Manila and Negros Island this week. (SunStar Philippines)