Undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) under Guerilla Front 53 of South Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) led by Rachel Daguman alias Yudi or Jasmin and Guerilla Front 6 of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) led by Reynante Tumbalang alias Jigger and Randy Bayot alias Gov, flagged down several vehicles around 5:45 a.m, March 8, along Davao-Buda road in Barangay Palacapao, Quezon, Bukidnon.
Seven of the burned trucks were: three prime movers (containing one Bantuanon truck loaded with bananas, one trans-special truck, one FSTA truck loaded with cartons); 3 winged-van trucks (containing a Nestle van loaded with milk products, one Purefoods van loaded with hotdogs, one van loaded with drums); and one San Miguel ten-wheel truck loaded with Red Horse Beer.
Two of the trucks were bound for Bukidnon while five others were heading to Davao.
The group simultaneously fired at the CAFGU troopers’ detachment in the area.
Lt. Col. Lennon Babilonia, commanding officer of the army’s 8th Infantry Battalion, immediately sent troops to respond to the incident and go after the perpetrators.
A clash transpired but no casualties reported. Later, at around 8:30 a.m., the NPA ambushed the elements from PNP’s 103rd Maneuver Company of the Regional Public Safety Battalion who came to respond and augment the government force.
Seven PNP elements were wounded due to an explosion of a landmine.
Further, at around 9:20 a.m. of same day, composite troops from the 8th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and members of PPSC, PNP-Bukidnon led by police superintendent Daryl Aranton, who also responded to the incident, encountered an undetermined number of NPAs at Davao-Buda road along the borders of Puntian and Palacapao villages of same town.
Fire fight ensued for five minutes. No casualties reported on the government troops while casualties on the NPA side are still to be determined.
The army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade commander Col. Jesse Alvarez commended the elements of PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion, who also responded to the incident together with the troops.
“We conducted pursuit operations in close coordination with our PNP counterparts. The Davao-Buda highway is now safe for our travellers and everything is under control,” he said.
At the moment, pursuit operations are being conducted by government troops in the area.
The NPA, who will be celebrating their 46th founding anniversary on March 29, is once again committing crimes and atrocities in the province of Bukidnon, targeting innocent civilians.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Lennon G. Babilonia, commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Battalion, said “It is very clear that the ideologies that the NPA has been fighting for in their 46 years of armed struggle have waned. The incident proved once again that their ideologies are replaced by mere acts of crime and extortion that victimize innocent civilians. They are never pro-people. They don’t want progress and denies every opportunity for people to develop so they can continue to blame the government and pretend that they are for the people. If they (NPA) are truly a force to reckon with, they should stop terrorizing helpless civilians and face the military instead.”