From the Visayan Daily Star (May 19): It was an ambush – NPA
It was an ambush.
The claim was made by the New People’s Army Mt. Conserman Command, apparently referring to the death and injury of soldiers in Brgy. Tan-awan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, recently.
Rebel spokesman Dionesio Magbuelas, had claimed in a statement that at least five soldiers were killed, while about 10 others were injured, in an ambush they staged on May 12 in Brgy. Tan-awan, Kabankalan City.
But the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division disputed the rebel claims, stressing that only two soldiers died, while eight others were injured in an encounter with about 60 communist rebels.
The increasing NPA atrocities recently in Negros Occidental, including the killing of an alleged military informant in Toboso, and three civilians in Isabela town, among others, took place as negotiators of the National Democratic Front and the Philippine government are engaged in back channeling talks in Europe.
Magbuelas said the ambush was in response to the call of the Communist Party of the Philippines to heighten the revolutionary armed struggle against the abuses of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The armed clashes in Kabankalan City, led to the displacement of more than 200 residents in the area, who evacuated from their homes for security reasons.
Magbuelas admitted that the NPA suffered a lone casualty identified only as a certain Ka Bebe, while two others were injured.
But they recovered an M-203 rifle grenade, more than 100 rounds of a K3 Squad Automatic Rifle and six back packs, he said.
The eight injured soldiers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion were recently conferred the Wounded Personnel Medals by Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3rd Infantry Division commander, in recognition of their exemplary performances in preventing the NPA from staging more terroristic activities during the May 16 synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
The same rebel group also claimed responsibility earlier for the destruction of P6.8 million in heavy equipment and construction equipment used in the construction of a water dam in Brgy. Tan-awan, Kabankalan City.