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3 soldiers die, 18 hurt in NPA ambush

by AJLPP Wednesday, May. 07, 2008 at 3:13 PM 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

Three soldiers were killed while at least 18 others were wounded after New People’s Army rebels ambushed a military convoy in North Cotabato early Monday. Maj. Lyndon Paniza, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said the attack happened at past 5 a.m. in Barangay Ilustre in President Roxas town. He said the soldiers,

3 soldiers die, 18 hurt in NPA ambush

Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 01:30:00 05/06/2008

'KIDAPAWAN CITY – Three soldiers were killed while at least 18 others were wounded after New People’s Army rebels ambushed a military convoy in North Cotabato early Monday.

Maj. Lyndon Paniza, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said the attack happened at past 5 a.m. in Barangay Ilustre in President Roxas town.

He said the soldiers, on board military vehicles, were ambushed along the national highway by rebels belonging to the NPA Front Committee 53.

The soldiers were heading toward the town in Arakan Valley after a week-long pursuit operation against the communist guerrillas.

Before reaching the ambush site, one of the trucks broke down, forcing the convoy to stop.

“There is a continuing military operations in the hinterlands of Arakan. The incident happened while our troops were going back to barracks,” Paniza said.

A heavy firefight ensued between the soldiers and the rebels headed by one Commander Ibyong.

Paniza could not say how many rebels were killed or wounded.

But he said the military was still verifying the actual number of government casualties, adding that only six soldiers were wounded.

This was contrary to the statement of Fe Mendoza, liaison officer of the Arakan Valley District Hospital, who said 18 soldiers were wounded during the gunfight.

“The three who were brought in Kidapawan were severely wounded. A couple of them were hit in the head ...they were in very critical condition,” said Mendoza in a radio interview.

Those killed were identified only through their surnames as Dalamban, Balibaguso and Cabañero, all of the 39th IB Charlie Company.

The unit commander, identified only as Lieutenant Nemesis, was among those wounded.

Reports said hospital workers had to calm down Nemesis because he wanted to return to the battlefield and help his men run after the rebels. He was transferred to the Kidapawan Medical Specialist Hospital.

Some of those wounded were identified as Romeo Mayormita, 37; Eugenio Alido, 34; Sapulon Maguierma, 40; Panto Bala, 32; Gilbert Palma, 29; Abdul Kadir, 39; Felicito Malaya, 32; Arnold Capilitan, 37; Philip Pulla, 20; Zainudin Adio, Mario Castillon, and Mike Abang.

Others were identified only by their surnames as Jabibalo, Becena, Guaban, and Recia while the rest remained unidentified as of press time.

In Legazpi City, Supt. Narciso Guarin, former city police chief, was killed in an ambush staged by suspected NPA rebels at about 6:30 a.m. on Monday in Barangay Estanza.

Police believed the ambush was the work of NPA rebels as Guarin had occupied sensitive positions in the police organization, one of which was head of the provincial intelligence and investigation group.

He was also once the chief of police of Ligao City.

Greg Bañares, spokesperson of the communist-led National Democratic Front in Bicol, said over the radio that he had received advanced information that the communist armed rebels would stage an ambush.

Supt. Eliciar Bron, Bicol police spokesperson, said Guaron was driving his car to work as deputy chief of the regional police personnel office in Camp Gen. Simeon Ola when he was shot several times by unidentified men armed with M-16 rifles.

Investigators said Guarin was fatally shot in the head.

They recovered 27 empty shells of M-16, but the victim’s mobile phone and wallet were missing.

Bron said one of the motorcycles used by the gunmen was found abandoned in the barangay.

“The motive for the ambush is still unknown and investigation is still ongoing,” Bron said.

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