Suspected rebels belonging to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army threw an improvised explosive device in Borongan City, Eastern Samar on Friday, killing two and injuring 15 others, the military said.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army condemned the attack which occurred in Barangay Libuton.
The fatalities were a grandmother and a police officer, the military said.
Of the 10 civilians wounded, three were minors, including a baby, it added.
Five of the other wounded, meanwhile, were police officers, the military disclosed.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), however, said there were three fatalities, one of them a police officer, according to a report on GMA News TV's Balitanghali Weekend.
Police officers belonging to the Eastern Samar Mobile Force Company were on their way to the Provincial Police Office when the IED exploded along their route.
Following the explosion, the police mobile was fired upon by suspected rebels who had high-powered firearms and grenades.
Among those hurt were students who came from a Christmas party.
The police immediately conducted pursuit operations.
The military said the attack is part of the CPP's observance of its upcoming founding anniversary on Dec. 26.
This just goes to show the CPP has no regard for civilians or human rights, it added.
"Nagpapatunay lamang ito na hindi sila kumikilala ng mga sibilyan. Wala silang paggalang sa karapatang pantao. Higit sa lahat wala silang pahalaga sa buhay kahit na sa mga inosenteng mga bata. Wala silang konsensya," the statement read.
"Sa halip na magsaya sa ngayong pasko ay luksa at pasakit ang dulot ng mga Teroristang NPA sa mga pamilya ng mga biktima," it added.
The military extended its condolences to the families of the victims and said it hoped for justice.
"Ang laban na to ay hindi lamang laban ng kapulisan at kasundalohan kundi laban na ng buong sambayan ng Eastern Visayas kontra sa mga Teroristang NPA," the statement said.
In a statement, PNP spokesperson Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac vowed that those responsible will be brought to account so that "the full might of the law will take its course."
"This only shows the insincerity of the CPP-NPA to give peace a chance," Banac added. —KG, GMA News