NPA ambush security of govt projects, use civilians as shield

Panacan, Davao City – Operating troops of 21st Light Armor Company (LAC), 2nd Light Armor Brigade (LABde), under the operational control of the 28th Infantry Battalion (28IB), was ambushed by 30 NPA rebels under Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 3 along Barangay Pintatagan, Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental at 4:00pm yesterday.

The said troops were supposed to replace the personnel tasked to secure the construction of government projects when a pressurized landmine hit their vehicle that resulted to the instantaneous killing of one soldier identified as Private First Class Glen Calba and wounding two others namely, Sergeant Ronald Banyaga and Corporal Roger Enad.

Lt Colonel Ferdinand Lazaro Budeng, Commander of 28IB, led the reinforcing troops and they encountered the blocking force for 20 minutes near the ambush site. He said, “Despite being outnumbered, personnel of 21LAC displayed heroism for their spirited counterattack thereby preventing the NPA from assaulting them.”

The reinforcing troops from 28IB were able to save civilians who were on the “killing zone”. However, the withdrawing NPAs flagged down passing vehicles and took undetermined number of civilians as hostages and made them as shields during their escape.

CAFGU in Maputi Patrol Base were able engage the withdrawing NPAs at Barangay Puntalinao but prevented them to further pursue the rebels due to the presence of civilians used as human shields.

Field report revealed that prior to the said attacks, NPA rebels destroyed three electric posts that caused power interruption and inconvenience to the people. “Banay-Banay Local Government Unit has been exerting efforts to uplift the lives of the people. This is simple economic sabotage,” said Budeng.

Colonel Romeo Calizo, Commander of 1001st Infantry Brigade, has ordered for a pursuit operation after the hostages were released. He said, “The rebels cannot face the soldiers squarely. They inhumanely used the civilians as shields for their escape and this is a gross disrespect to Human Rights and a violation of the International Humanitarian Law.”

“Likewise, the Philippines is a signatory to the Ottawa Convention banning the use of landmines and under the United Nations’ Law on Armed Conflict, the uses of landmines are banned under article 809,” Calizo added.

The killed soldier was brought to Davao Medical Center for the autopsy while the wounded are recuperating at the Panacan Station Hospital.

Released by:
Cpt Rosa Ma Cristina R Manuel
Public Affairs Officer
10th Infantry (AGILA) Division,Philippine Army
Contact Number: (082) 302-2061
E-mail Add: dpao10id@yahoo.com, Website: www.agila10id.com

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