At the same time, Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, 3ID commander ,condemned the “cowardice and dastardly act of the NPA” saying the rebels violated the International Humanitarian Law for using landmines in the ambush.
Vinoya vowed the Army will press the fight hard against the local terrorist group.
Killed in the ambush were 2Lt Ralf Amante Abibico, Cpl Joel Nobleza and PFC Carl Venice Bustamante. Injured during the gunbattle were Cpl John Cris M. Laus, PFC John Paul M. Geonzon, Cpl Lismer Jade J. Tumayao and PFC Alexis I.Mepranum, all members of the 94th Infantry Battalion.
“They died protecting the people of Negros, they died as heroes,” Vinoya said.
Stressing that the CPP-NPA once again proved their outright disregard to the established laws on armed conflict, Vinoya said that the terroristic acts will motivate the Army to press on and finish the fight.
“We will hunt you down,” Vinoya said.
Col. InocencioPasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, also said that the heroism of the slain Army troopers will never be forgotten by the people of Negros.
Pasaporte yesterday said that the injured Army troopers are now in stable condition as he lauded their heroism, bravery, and selfless dedication to secure and protect the Negros communities.
He also assured all necessary assistance and benefits to the families of the fallen soldiers.
Abibico, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, served as a platoon leader of the 94IB Charlie Company, who with 19 of his men were sent to secure the outer perimeter of Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City, where residents are scheduled to receive cash grants under the Special Amelioration Program of the government.
KaJuanitoMagbanua, spokesperson of the NPA ApolinarioGatmaitan Command, in a radio interview, justified the staging of the ambush, claiming that it was a form of an active self defense while they are observing the extended ceasefire declaration as ordered by the CPP central committee.