Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Apr 24, 2020): NPA rebels unfazed by Duterte’s threat, kill soldier in Zamboanga
Communist insurgents killed a government soldier in a firefight Friday in Zamboanga del Sur’s Bayog town in southern Philippines, army officials said.
The attack occurred even after President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday threatened to declare martial law if the NPA does not stop attacking security forces amid the coronavirus pandemic. Duterte said he will also run after all communist legal fronts in the country.
Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, commander of the 97th Infantry Battalion, said patrolling troops clashed with New People’s Army gunmen in the village of Balukbahan. “One trooper paid the ultimate sacrifice in an encounter with the communist NPA terrorist group,” he said.
Boransing said soldiers were still pursuing the rebels in the town. “Pursuit operation is conducted to neutralize the fleeing rebels,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, also ordered troops to sustain the offensive and destroy the rebel group as he condoled with the family of the slain soldier. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and friends of our soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our people against the terrorist group. Their sacrifices were borne out of their dedication to protect the constituents of Zamboanga del Sur in pursuit of peace and development” he said.
The fighting was the second this week after soldiers also clashed with the same group in the village where troops recovered an automatic rifle and improvised explosive left behind by fleeing rebels.
On Wednesday, NPA rebels ambushed a military truck and wounded 2 soldiers in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, in eastern Mindanao.
The attack, which occurred in Malabog village in Paquibato district, targeted members of the 16th Infantry Battalion. The ambush sparked a brief firefight and it was unknown whether any of the communist rebels were wounded or killed in the clash.
The NPA has been waging a violent campaign for many decades now for the establishment of a communist state in the country. (Zamboanga Post)