From the Philippine Information Agency (Apr 13, 2020): NPA continues to create chaos over COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Samar (By PIA-8 and 8ID, PA)
TACLOBAN CITY, Apr 13 (PIA) -- The troops of the 20th Infantry Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, while conducting community protection patrol in response to a report from concerned civilians on the presence of armed group, were fired upon by about ten (10) Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) at the vicinity of Brgy . Diit de Turag, Silvino Lubos, Northern Samar at 9:45 in the morning of April 11, 2020.
The 5-minute firefight resulted to the CNTs’ retreat taking the north direction of Brgy. Ynaguingayan, Pambujan, same province. The troops seized one (1) Huawei touch screen cellphone, one (1) backpack, 14 live ammunition of M16 rifle, one (1) live ammunition of M14 rifle, and subversive documents.
There is no reported casualty on the government side while that of the enemy’s side is still undetermined.
To recall, on April 6, 2020, four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were uncovered in the vicinity of Brgy. Hubasan, Calbiga, Samar with the CNTs' intent to victimize frontliners conducting COVID-19 prevention efforts.
In the morning of April 7, 2020, about 30 CNTs swooped down on Sitio Bangon, Barangay Guinmaayohan, Balangiga, Eastern Samar and took some relief goods intended for the locals.
In the afternoon of same day, more or less fifteen (15) CNTs harassed and forcibly took foodstuffs from the populace of Brgy. Lakandula, Las Navas, Northern Samar resulting to an encounter where one soldier was wounded.
On March 19, 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF as the Communist Party of the Philippines ordered its armed regulars on March 26, 2020 to observe a ceasefire with the government.
These willful series of attacks by the terrorists are violations of the unilateral ceasefire between the state and the CPP-NPA.
The terrorists are purposely casting the sufferings of the residents caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by orchestrating attacks that induce fear among the whole community.
Colonel Zosimo A. Oliveros, commander, 803rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade, said that, “The violence orchestrated by the CNTs is causing tremendous effect on the community while the peace arms of the government are focused on alleviating the crisis brought about by the coronavirus.”
“Your army, assures the public that we will, at all times, defend the citizenry and will remain steadfast to grapple against the terroristic acts of our enemies,” he concluded.
“We convey our utmost gratitude to the concerned citizens for providing us information of the whereabouts of our enemies and we plea that you will continue to work with us to prevent the enemies from causing harm to the whole populace,” Oliveros added. (PIA8/8ID)