CAMP GEN. CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – A soldier was killed while two others were wounded in an ambush by New Peoples Army (NPA) terrorist group in Barangay Silang, Lopez, Quezon at about 8:30 p.m. Monday.
Colonel Elias H. Escarcha, Commander of the 201st Infantry Brigade said Tuesday the slain and wounded soldiers, were aboard a military truck on their way to fetch fellow troopers of 85th Infantry Battalion, who conducted a community civic action in a remote village, when ambushed along a village road.
Escarcha identified the slain soldier as Corporal Nilo R. Julian, who died while on the way to St. Jude Hospital, and the wounded soldiers as Sergeant Victor Bartocillo and Pfc Jonathan Baylar, both sustained injuries when the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used by the NPA terrorists exploded and damaged the military vehicle along the village road.
The wounded soldiers are now in stable condition.
According to Escarcha, fire fight ensued from the ambuscade incident for about 30 minutes between the military troops and the communist terrorist group, until the military reinforcement came.
He said that another clash occurred as the reinforcing troops engaged the state enemies to a firefight , forcing the terrorist group to withdraw from the battle site along Barangay Cogorin, also in Lopez town an hour later.
No one was hurt from the government site during the second gunbattle while an undetermined number of casualties on the scampering enemies were reported based on the traces of bloodstains along the escape path.
Major General Rhoderick M. Parayno, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) condemned the NPA atrocities.
Parayno said that the NPAs utilization of IEDs is a clear violation of Republic Act 9851, an act penalizing crimes against International Humanitarian Law.
He also dismissed claims by the NPA terrorist group of territorial control as there is no provision in the Constitution that provides the NPAs jurisdiction over a portion of the Philippine territory.
“The national territory belongs to the people, and the government as the people’s legitimate representative has the sole authority over it,” he expounded.
Parayno said the presence of the soldiers in the barangays is to conduct Community Support Program (CSP) in order to sustain the delivery of the government’s basic services to the people.
“It is a multi-sector endeavor of the Local Government Units (LGUs), the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philppines), PNP (Philippine National Police), Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders in order to uplift the living condition of the people in the remote villages,” he said.
The 2ID Commander has expressed condolences to the bereaved family of the slain soldier.
“Rest assured that his heroism and sacrifices will not be in vain. We will pursue them(NPAs)”, he vowed.
The PNP Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) also arrived at the ambush site to investigate and recovered an unexploded IED, detonating chords and personal belongings of the communist terrorists. PNA-northboundasia.com