Three Army soldiers deployed for peace and development outreach program were murdered on Thursday morning, January 6, 2011 in Southern Mindanao. The soldiers belong to the Peace and Development Team 905 of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion.
The three soldiers were riding a motorcycle heading towards Purok 4, Barangay Magdum, Tagum City when they were fired upon by suspected members of the New People’s Army belonging to Guerilla Front 33. Two of the soldiers died instantly while the third casualty expired while being treated at the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City.
“This is a case of murder,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Napuli, Commander of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion. “Our soldiers were there for community works but the assailants want to destroy the peace that the soldiers are offering to the people,” he added. With the heavy downpour of rain in 10ID AOR, the soldiers were also alerted for the conduct of needs assessment and disaster response operations.
Implementation of the peace and development outreach program started in September last year. This program has resulted to the implementation of various humanitarian assistance programs including dengue prevention, clean up drives, blood letting, medical and dental mission, book distribution, supplemental feeding and gift giving. The program also resulted to the surrender of hundreds of former NPA members and supporters.
Major General Jorge Segovia, Commander of the 10th Infantry Division based in Davao City condemned the killing as a cowardly act of peace saboteurs. He said that the peace and development outreach program which is being implemented under the AFP’s Campaign Plan “Bayanihan” will continue to contribute in solving the root causes of insurgency. “The CPP plan to divert our attention away from community works will fail,” he said.
Nevertheless, he reminded his field commanders to be on the alert to prevent the recurrence of similar incident.
(As emailed by LTC MEDEL M AGUILAR PA. 10ID Public Information Officer)
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