From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 21): Marines, NPA clash in Palawan
A military official on Friday confirmed reports of an ongoing encounter between troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) and the communist-terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) in Bataraza town, southern Palawan.
Refusing to be named yet, the military official from the said battalion did not deny the clash and said “it is currently ongoing” along the vicinities of barangays Bono-Bono and Malihud in the said town.
The clash came barely a week after a roadside bombing attack that injured Pvt. Garry Estafia of the same battalion in Bataraza on July 18, and the killing of Pfc. Joene Galiste and Pvt. James Melchor Porol of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 (MBLT-12) on July 19 in Roxas, northern Palawan.
On Wednesday, the AFP’s Western Command (WESCOM) labeled the string of attacks that the New People’s Army (NPA) performed against government peacekeepers in Palawan as shameless and gutless acts.
Captain Cherryl Tindog, spokesperson of the WESCOM, said this to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Tindog claimed the communist-terrorists’ admission that it carried out the roadside bombing attack on Tuesday afternoon in Bataraza, and the killing of two Marines in Roxas early Wednesday morning, are desperate moves because of the agony and torture of losing their active hideout and drill camp in Barangay Samariñana, Brooke’s Point last month
“They are doing these atrocities because of the hard blows of capturing their training camp, and because the relationship between the military and the communities in Palawan are getting stronger. They are like this when they can no longer get sympathy from the communities,” she stated.
Despite the incidents, Tindog assured Palaweños that the WESCOM will be unstoppable in continuing focused and civil military operations to support the province’s peace and development progress.
“We, at the WESCOM, will continue with our focused and civic military operations. We will not leave the areas, we will not stop, especially in providing humanitarian assistance to people in distant locations of Palawan,” Tindog added.