More soldiers were deployed by the Philippine Army to Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, and its neighboring areas to augment government forces in pursuit of the fleeing New People’s Army rebels behind the recent ambush-slay of government troopers, Capt. Cenon Pancito, chief of the 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, yesterday said.
With relentless focused military operations, we intend to isolate these NPAs from the community and the populace, Pancito said, noting that continued military operations deny the local terrorist group from staging their terror activities and launching tactical offensives against government forces.
While they may have blended themselves into their known militias, Pancito said the 3ID is confident that the rebels will be cornered and brought to justice soon.
In recognition of their bravery, the four Army soldiers,who were injured in an encounter with NPA rebels on Sunday in Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City, were conferred with Wounded Personnel Medals yesterday by Col. InocencioPasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, and his deputy, Col. Michael Samson.
The recipients were Corporals John CrisLaus and LismerJade Tumayao, Privates First Class John Paul Geonzon and Alexis Mepranum.
The encounter also claimed the life of three Army soldiers.
Rep. Maria Lourdes Arroyo (Neg. Occ., 5th district) also joined other government officials in condemning the violent acts perpetrated by the NPA “during a time when all people both in government and the private sector should be doing their utmost to combat the effects of COVID-19 in unison”.
The slain victims of this attack instigated by the heartless perpetrators were simply heeding their call of duty and upholding the oaths they took to defend our Constitution and protect our people, Arroyo said in a statement.
Arroyo said that men-in-uniform should not be demoralized but should be inspired by the bravery of their colleagues.
She also assured assistance to the survivors of the attack.
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office also denounced in strongest terms the NPA attack against 94th Infantry Battalion soldiers, who were conducting community security patrols for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) distribution by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, the NPA Roselyn Jean Pelle Command issued a statement alleging that the 79th Infantry Battalion soldiers violated government-declared ceasefire with their continuous military operations in the hinterlands of northern Negros.