The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II condemned the ambush that led to the death of nine people, mostly civilians, in Negros Occidental and issued this warning: "We will come after you."
Roxas, speaking during the 22th Foundation Day of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, lauded the efforts of local police in La Castellana town in attempting to repulse the armed men that ambushed a truck-load of policemen and members of the barangay peacekeeping team.
Nine people, including PO1 Richard Canja and a woman, were killed in the attack by suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels.
"Civilians, barangay tanods, lupons were slain in that attack. They were coming home, together with nine other civilians who were wounded...they were coming home from a barangay fiesta at about 3 a.m. when they were mercilessly, brutally, ruthlessly attacked by what early reports say were NPA armed men," Roxas said in his speech.
"I take few moments to pause to think about them and to reflect that like them, every single one of you here, every day, and all the PNP officers and men all throughout the country, every day when you put on your uniforms, you become an immediate target. Every day, quietly but courageously, steadfastly, every day you put yourselves on the line in the defense of law and order in our country and it is that I wish to convey to you...that message that I wish to convey to you with the thanks of a grateful nation that you every day put yourselves on the line," he added.
Roxas said that every policeman becomes a target of criminal elements once he puts on a uniform and assured that the national government will strive to provide for the needs of every policeman from equipment to training to overall welfare such as housing and healthcare.
"I say this to all na mga masasamang luob na andyan (bad elements there): you hit one of us, you hit all of us and we will all come after you," Roxas said.