THE New People’s Army yesterday claimed to have killed 13 soldiers and wounded six others in an attack carried out against the Army’s 88th Infanry Battalion in Quezon, Bukidnon, two Tuesdays ago.
The attack was the NPA’s response to a series of harassments allegedly committed by soldiers in southcentral Bukidnon, according to Ariel “Inda” Magbanwag, spokesman of the NPA in the province.
Magbanwag said rebels attacked soldiers at around 3 pm this Feb. 6 by detonating a bomb and simultaneously firing shots at the military group before fleeing.
Magbanwag said villagers spoke about seeing soldiers carrying their dead and the wounded.
He denied that the soldiers were there for a “community support program,” adding that they were fielded there to launch combat operations in Palacapao, Lipa, Linabo, Sta. Felomina and Cawayan in order to clear the road for mining operations and for a plantation.
Magbanwag said the military’s clearing operations have been taking place since November 2017, and some 320 soldiers have so far been fielded there.
“Gamit ang ilang martial law, ilang gipahamtang ang mas grabe nga pagpangyatak sa katungod tawo, ang pagpasangil sa sa mga yanong sibilyan ug legal nga organisasyong masa nga mga myembro ug tigsuporta sa New People’s Army, ang pagpangbahad nga patyon kung dili mosurender, ang pagtumo-tumo og mga kaso ug ang peke nga pagpasurender,” said Magbanwag.
He said one alleged military excesses was the alleged killing of former barangay councilor Anacito Lopez, 55, in Paitan, Quezon, Bukidnon, in the afternoon of Jan. 22 . Lopez was a leader of a group of farmers in Bukidnon. (herbie gomez)