From the Visayan Daily Star (Mar 21, 2020): Rebels harass detachment (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)
Taking advantage of the unilateral ceasefire, suspected New People’s Army rebels yesterday harassed a military detachment in Brgy. Sandayao, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, that led to a gunbattle, Army Capt. Raymond Jamisal, of the 62nd Infantry Battalion Civil Military Operations, said.
Jamisal reported that the firefight lasted for about two minutes, and the NPA rebels withdrew towards Sitio Palinion of the same barangay. Nobody among the occupants of the detachment was hurt, he added.
The harassment of the Sandayao CAFGU detachment came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a halt to military operations against the NPA, while Army soldiers and police personnel are assisting government health personnel in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease(COVID -19)
Lt Col. Melvin Flores, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, slammed the NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command for the harassment, dismissing it also as a desperate and nonsense act of the local terrorist group.
Flores said that the government’s declaration of the unilateral ceasefire and sincere effort to help in resolving the pandemic problem, was answered by communist rebel atrocity, and who did not contribute anything to help the people of Negros, except worsening the situation.
It is a clear manifestation of the CPP-NPA insincerity to peace, desire to inflict casualties, and sow terror in Negros, Flores added.
The NPA is marking its 51st founding anniversary on March 29.
The 302nd and 303rd Infantry Brigade soldiers are assisting in the conduct of border control operations at the boundaries of Negros Occidental and Oriental.
Meanwhile, Col. Romeo Baleros, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, reported a reduction in the entry of people into the province, with no untoward incident on their fifth day of border control operations.
Check up points are being established by the police and Philippine Army in San Carlos City, Salvador Benedicto, Moises Padilla, Kabankalan City and Hinobaan in Negros Occidental.
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office also reported yesterday to have 40 improvised face shields donated by Karen Tajanlangit of Right Aid Health Insurance, through the effort of Aksyon Radyo-Bacolod.
Baleros said that he will immediately distribute the improvised face shields to NOCPPO personnel manning quarantine control points in Negros Occidental.*