Outnumbered and surrounded but never outgunned, seven young policemen engaged New People’s Army (NPA) thugs in a firefight that lasted for three long hours in defense of a barrio in Camarines Norte.
Before the day was through, five of the seven cops lay dead, their blood spilled on the land they vowed to protect to their last breath against enemies of the people masquerading as their liberators.
The remaining two were wounded, but their gallant stand in taking the fight to the NPA bandits saved the day and forced the latter to withdraw in shame and realization how lacking their trainings were against the men in uniform.
Mournfully, responding policemen retrieved the bodies of their slain fellow officers at Purok 6 in Barangay Dumagmang in the town of Labo. The dead could have been them, the cops attending to the remains of their comrades must have thought.
For to be in uniform, whether for the police or the military, is to have a huge crosshair painted on your back.
The enemy does not care that civilians are caught in crossfires, so why would they even choose their targets from the police and the army?
For the terrorists, let the bodies fall and sort them out later from the ground. Such was the case in the Labo ambush, the policemen were attacked without any provocation, yet they stood pat until one by one the five dropped dead from enemy fire.
All seven showed gallantry over and above the call of duty after being sent to the vicinity of a road construction project in the municipality of Labo, an undertaking to connect it to a portion of Quezon province.
Lesser men would have ran or surrendered, but not for the seven who honored Filipino patriots before them, who paid the ultimate price for the love of flag and country.
On the other side, the NPA’s claim that it is championing the rights of poor people rings hollow. If it does, it would not have attacked the cops and the project intended to improve the mobility of residents while hastening the transport of goods for local farmers.
Now, it’s clear for all to see why the NPA and its mother organizations, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), had been tagged by many countries as terrorist organizations.
All the NPA cares about is the money it has been extorting from businesses in the countryside so its leaders like CPP founder Jose Maria Sison can party and live lavishly abroad, out of reach of our justice system.
The Labo attack pads anew the list of atrocities committed by the CPP-NPA-NDFP even during this pandemic as government tries to shore up all of its resources to fight Covid-19 while Filipinos grapple with staying alive against the virus and the resulting economic crunch.
No, the communists can no longer style themselves as ideologues because they are engaged in plain banditry, no different from pathetic cattle rustlers of the past or the tulisanes who eat from the toils and hard work of the poor, planting or fishing under the sun.
In January this year, the Armed Forces of the Philippines submitted in writing to the Commission on Human Rights a report on the 532 incidents of destruction of civilian-owned property committed by the communist terrorist groups CPP-NPA-NDFP since 2010.
AFP public affairs office chief Navy. Capt. Jonathan Zata said these were done mostly through arson by the communists. Majority of the NPA atrocities were committed in regions in Mindanao against businesses that had refused to be bilked.
In Caraga, the communists committed 107 attacks on businesses, in Davao they had 89, in Northern Mindanao 63 and in Soccsksargen, 55.
With the numerous attacks and now the incident in Camarines Norte, the CHR has remained deafeningly silent and has refused to condemn the CPP-NPA-NDFP atrocities while being quick to shoot from the hip in denouncing the PNP and the AFP.
The same holds true for the yellows who have perfected the art of giving bleeding-heart statements for the supposed “victims” of legitimate state operations, but who make themselves scarce or have their blabbermouths zippered when cops and soldiers are the ones killed.
“These five young men held their ground and died with their boots on while protecting the barrio against communist terrorists. They deserve all due recognition and honors for their heroism,” PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said over the weekend.
In honor of the seven, the PNP has flown the Philippine flag at half-mast in its headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Their sacrifices will not be in vain, Eleazar assured as he ordered a manhunt against the commies.
“The CPP-NPA-NDFP has been given all the opportunity to sit down in order to give peace and development a chance for the Filipino people. Yet over the years, they repeatedly turned down peace negotiations and instead resort to cowardly attacks even in the time of the pandemic,” Eleazar said.
“Clearly, these people do not understand the language of peace so we’ll deal with them in a manner that they fully understand our message that we shall never tolerate this kind of terrorism activity,” he added.
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