From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 4): Soldier wounded while securing tourist destination in Agusan del Sur
A soldier of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion was hurt during an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Brgy. San Lorenzo of this town at 4:00 p.m. on August 2, 2017.
The troops were on patrol near Bega Falls, a popular tourist spot in Brgy. Mabuhay, Prosperidad when they chanced upon the NPAs after responding to reports from residents that the rebels were extorting from them.
Private First Class Jordan Padua was wounded during a 10-minute running gun battle while pursuing the escaping NPAs who managed to occupy a vantage position to cover the withdrawal of their wounded comrades. PFC Padua was immediately extricated from the area and was brought to D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital, Patin-ay, this province, for medical treatment.
Bega Falls, a popular tourist destination in the province is frequented by both local and foreign vacationers. The NPA’s extortion activities in the area has threatened the security of both the tourists and residents making gainful living; thus, prompted the soldiers to conduct constant patrols to ensure its viability as a tourist attraction.
Col. Andres Centino, 401st Brigade commander, recognized the importance of Bega Falls to the Province of Agusan del Sur as a tourist destination and a source of livelihood to the residents of this town. He pledged the continuing support of the Brigade in making the area safe. “We will continue to support the Government Projects and Programs in securing communities particularly tourist destination areas as these will help uplift the economic conditions of the populace once developed,” he underlined. (401st Brigade, Phil. Army/PIA-Agusan del Sur)