By LITO RULONA
THE New People’s Army over the weekend claimed responsibility for the burning of vehicles in Manolo Fortich and an ambush in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon last week even as it warned of more attacks in northern Mindanao.
Pia Paraiso, spokesperson of the NPA for northcentral Mindanao, said communist guerrilla forces were stronger in waging combative attacks on government-owned facilities and camps in the region.”
She said the NPA attacks in the region were meant to show the Duterte administration that the NPA is “still capable in waging war against the government.”
Paraiso claimed rebels killed at least 13 and wounded 11 others from the government forces and thwarted an alleged attempt of soldiers from the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion to attack a rebel camp in Bukidnon.
Paraiso said rebels killed two government troopers on Monday and Tuesday in Sitio Nasandigan, Calabugao, Bukidnon, and another three in Sitio Anahaw, Barangay Bantaawan in Gingoog City, where it attacked a Citizens’ Armed Forces Geographical Unit outpost and engaged militiamen in an hour-long spradic firefight on Wednesday. The NPA said at least four militiamen were wounded in the attack.
Paraiso said the NPA was behind the burning of vehicles in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, late last week. She said the rebels have just carried out an offensive in Bukidnonand passed through through the Sayre Highway unnoticed by the government troops.
“Naka-abot kami sa maong lugar nga wala nila masayri. Misunog kami og tulo ka motor (motorcycles), duha ka Mitsubishi L-300 vans, one (Isuzu) Elf truck, and one Toyota Hilux. Kadtong tanan nga sakyanan amo lang kadto nga nakuha sa kadaplinan sa highway,” Paraiso said.
She said the rebels were supposed to carry out another attack but faced some glitches.
Another attack the following day was in Sitio Calabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon. Paraiso said rebels engaged soldiers in a 15-minute exchange of firepower and killed three soldiers from the Bravo Company of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion.
Paraiso said the NPA attack resulted in 10 soldiers being wounded.
“The area of ambush is always a passageway of government troopers. Wala kami nakahibalo nga dunay uban nila nga mga members of nongovernment organizations. Daghan unta ang ma-killed in action kung wala kadtong mga civilian,” Paraiso said.