DAVAO CITY-- Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa slammed the communist New People's Army (NPA) over Wednesday's ambush that killed four policemen.
Dela Rosa said the attack was an attempt "to impress to the public that the NPA machinery and forces are still in place."
The PNP chief on Thursday visited the wake of police officers killed during the ambush in Bansalan town on Wednesday.
"They are showing that they are a force to reckon with," Dela Rosa pointed out, adding that the rebels are also trying to counter government reports that their number is now dwindling due to the series of surrenders of their members.
He expressed grief over the death of the four police officers, among them a non-combatant member of the Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO).
"They (NPAs) should answer why they did it," Dela Rosa said.
Four police officers were killed and another one was wounded in the ambush staged by suspected NPA members in Barangay Sibayan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur.
Killed were PO1 Rholly Benelayo, PO1 Saro Mangotara and PO1 Joey Narvasa, who were all members of the Bansalan Municipal Police Station, and PO3 Jeden Mei Rabor, a member of SOCO.
Wounded during the ambush was PO2 Allen Arnado, also a member of the Bansalan police.
The police officers were on the way to Barangay Sibayan to investigate a reported murder incident when waylaid by the gunmen.
Dela Rosa, during the visit on Thursday, personally talked to the families of the slain police officers and gave them financial assistance.
Source: Philippines News Agency