From the Catanduanes Tribune (Aug 21): Army, PNP brass visit wounded lawman, SDUs
The commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (PA), Col. Alden Juan Masagca, visited the province last Friday to confer with his troops – the remaining company here of the 83rd Infantry Battalion based in Lictin, San Andres – regarding the Aug. 10 ambush conducted by the New People’s Army against the local police.
In a press release, Col. Masagca condemned the communist movement’s use of the improvised explosive device in the incident as a “horrific and inhuman” action in violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed by the CPP-NDF-NPA and the government.
The brigade stated that the attack targeted “defenseless” policemen and surrendered drug users out to change their lives from drug addiction, adding that the SDUs are not legitimate targets and should be protected instead of being fired at and targeted with IEDs.
In expressing his unit’s profound condolences to the slain police personnel and the wounded civilians, Col. Masagca hopes this would be the right time for Catandunganons to unite against the NPA.
The 901st Brigade commander’s visit was followed last Sunday morning by that of PNP Bicol regional director Chief Superintendent Antonio Guardiola, who conducted a command conference with Catanduanes PNP provincial director Senior Superintendent Felix Servita Jr. and his chiefs of police at Camp Francisco Camacho.
The RD later visited SPO1 Marwin de Vera as well as the wounded surrendered drug users still being treated at local hospitals. De Vera appears to be out of danger despite being hit in the abdomen by a sniper’s bullet while one of the three SDUs is still being observed after he was struck in the eye by shrapnel.
Both Col. Masagca and PD Servita refused to comment on the possible effect of the ambush on the declaration of Catanduanes as a province moving towards peace and development following the significant reduction in the number of communist guerillas operating in the island......