DILG: Victoria, N. Samar cops to get PNP medals for repulsing NPA attack
MANILA, Philippines — The “brave” police officers of Victoria, Northern Samar will receive due honor and recognition from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for repulsing the attack of suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in their station on Thursday.
“Despite being outnumbered by the attacking communist terrorists, these brave police officers held their position and defeated the enemy. This is a highly commendable accomplishment that should be the standard in all police stations nationwide: outnumbered but never outfought,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
“SILG directed PNP (Philippine National Police) to give medals to the deserving cops,” DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya told INQUIRER.net.
Around 50 suspected NPA rebels attacked the Victoria Municipal Police Station at about 3:44 a.m. But the 15 police officers on duty overpowered the assailants as they positioned themselves to the rooftop of the building — a good vantage point for a gunfight.
PNP spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said in a text message that it has not been decided which medal the Victoria police may receive, but said it could be the Medal of Bravery, the fourth highest award of the PNP, corresponding to the Gold Cross Medal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
According to the Official Gazette, the Medal of Bravery is conferred on police officers who have “exhibited gallantry in action. To qualify, awarded personnel must have had to face a superior enemy force in actual combat.”
Three suspected rebels were killed while another suspected NPA member, a college student in his 20s, was arrested in the gun battle that lasted for around three hours. Two policemen were injured in the incident but are now in stable condition.
Following the attack, Año also called on the PNP to work closely with the military to intensify the government’s campaign to end the communist movement in the country.
“The best defense is always offense. Let us go and attack the NPA guerrilla bases in tandem with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and make sure that these NPA terrorists will pay for their heinous crimes against the Filipino people,” he said.
Año, who was also chief-of-staff of the AFP, also called the attack of suspected communist rebels as a “desperate but futile” attempt to sow fear among men in uniform.
“The government will not be intimidated by this dastardly act of violence and will only intensify our campaign to end terrorism in the country,” he said.
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