NPA to use bomb attack in Iloilo as leverage to extort from 2022 bets: PNP

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Posted at Oct 26 2021 03:22 PM

NPA to use bomb attack in Iloilo as leverage to extort from 2022 bets: PNP

MANILA— The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said the bomb attack that left two policemen wounded in Iloilo was a strategy by the New People’s Army (NPA) to show force ahead of the 2022 elections.

“The NPA attack that resulted [in] the wounding of two of our policemen is certainly a strategy being employed to make it appear that they are still strong and eventually use as a leverage for their extortion activities to candidates for the next year’s election,” PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said. 

Eleazar said he has directed all unit commanders to be on alert and intensify operations against the NPA to prevent the rebel group from extorting money, recruiting members and sowing violence.

Eleazar said the wounded policemen, Patrolman Jessie Castamado and Police Cpl. Genel Simpas, were among personnel of the Iloilo Police Mobile Force Company harassed by the rebel group's Southern Front Komite, Komiteng Rehiyon Panay at their base area in Barangay Mayang in the town of Tubungan. 

A shootout followed but the rebel group detonated two improvised explosive device that wounded the two cops, he said. 

The wounded cops were taken to the Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital and are in stable condition. 

“We assure the two policemen who were injured in the Iloilo attack of our full assistance for their full recovery. I am also expecting that our local police forces in the area will intensify their follow-up operations to hold those responsible accountable,” Eleazar said.

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