From the Leyte Samar Daily Express (Jan 31): Soldier killed, 2 others wounded in Samar ambush
A soldier was killed while two others were wounded in an ambush incident in a Samar town last Monday morning. Killed in action was Private First Class Melvin Joy Sanchez who died due to loss of blood as he was hit at the lower part of his leg. Wounded were identified as Private First Class Edsildo Aburque and Private First Class Joel Lapisora, both hit in their feet.
In a belated report, Captain Lemuel Baduya, spokesperson of the 801st Infantry Brigade based in Hinabangan town, Samar, said that the soldiers were in Barangay Baes, Motiong when they were ambushed by about 20 fully armed men members of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels. The village is about 18 kms away from the town proper of Motiong.
The ambushed incident took place last Monday at around 10:30 a.m. while the soldiers were conducting their “bayanihan” activity in the area, seeking opinions and concerns of the village people which they hope to address through the assistance of the local government unit of Motiong. “This is an unfortunate and sad day for us. This cannot be avoided,” Baduya said.
The dead soldier is still at the mortuary of the Army’s regional headquarters based in Catbalogan City for his family to collect while the two wounded soldiers are still recuperating. Baduya said that the group of 23 soldiers, who belong to the 87th Infantry Brigade based in San Jose de Buan, also in Samar and under the command of Col. Cirilo Balauro, were in the area when they engaged the rebels in a firefight that lasted for 10 minutes.
According to Baduya, about 20 NPA rebels waylaid the government troops. He, however, could not say if there were NPA rebels who died in the ambush except to say that blood stains were seen where the rebels were positioned at that time, he said.