Monday, May 9, 2016

NPA Samar attack on escorts for VCM delivery courier

From InterAksyon (May 8): NPA Samar attack on escorts for VCM delivery courier

Illustration by the Philippine Army shows the impact of an NPA landmine. The military denounced the rebels for planting landmines on the route of an Army-PNP convoy that escorted a courier's vehicle carrying vote counting machines in Northern Samar. Three civilians were hit by the IED, which exploded as soldiers traded fire with some 30 rebels.

CATARMAN, Northern Samar, Philippines - One soldier was killed and another one wounded in an ambush Saturday afternoon by suspected members of the New People's Army of an Army convoy on its way back to barracks after escorting a private courier's vehicle that delivered Vote Counting Machines (VCM) to be used for Monday's elections.

Three civilians were hit and wounded after an improvised explosive device (IEDs) exploded at So. Mamhot, Barangay Manaybanay, Mapanas near the boundary of Mapanas and Gamay towns.

Capt. Bard Caesar Mazo, civil military operations officer of the 803rd infantry division, Philippine Army based in Camp Sumoroy, Catarman, Northern Samar, said the military truck and PNP patrol car were traveling back to the headquarters of the Army's 20th IB based in Gamay town from Mapanas after escorting a vehicle that delivered VCMs, when they came under attack from rebels.

The firefight lasted more than 30 minutes.

In the course of the attack, an IED exploded, hitting three civilians who were riding a motorcycle, but only two were identified: Marlon Balitos and Bryan Obrar. The three were brought to Gamay District Hospital.

Mazo said the NPA planted five IEDs along the Palapag-Mapanas-Gamay-Lapinig road with approximately 50-meter intervals.

Lt Col Hilarion Palma, battalion commander of the 20th IB, denounced what he called an apparent campaign by the rebels to sow terror to disrupt the May 9 elections.

Col. Mario Lacurom, 803rd brigade commander, said the use of IEDs, inflicting harm on civilians, is a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law where the NPA-CPP is a signatory.

Lacurom said the NPA also violated the United Nations Convention against the use of Landmines.

Eastern Visayas police director Chief Superintendent Jose Erwin Villacorte said troops from the 20th Infantry Battalion and personnel of the Mapanas police station were partly hit by the landmines planted on the right shoulder of the highway.

The landmine explosion was immediately followed by the gunfire from some 30 NPA members, which resulted in the death of one soldier identified as Private Louieden Quebec, 20, and a resident of Barangay Lokilokon, Paranas, Samar.

Also wounded during the attack was Private First Class Michael P. Cagata, 27, a resident of Lucena City.

Insp. Lope Cebreros III, the town police chief, said the VCMs are secure. “The rebels withdrew carrying undetermined casualties,” Cebreros said.

Second ambush

At about 4:25 p.m., reinforcements from the 20th IB led by First Lieutenant Alge Oronon, who is on mission to extract the dead and wounded soldiers, were also ambushed by the NPA blocking force in the vicinity of Barangay Maragano, in Palapag town.

The second ambush resulted in another firefight - lasting about three minutes, with no casualties - between the army and the rebels.
Recovered from the first ambush site was a plastic container, four white gallons covered by a black cloth, a hundred meter blasting wires and a banner with markings “Justice for Emil Go.”

Police said Go is a Makabayan activist and SB secretary of Palapag town slain by gunmen last April 29 in front of his residence in Palapag.

Fr. Santiago Salas, spokesman of the National Democratic Front in Eastern Visayas, condemned the killing of Go and tagged the military and an influential political dynasty in Northern Samar as behind the killing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.