Army scores NPA for killing unarmed soldiers, militiaman

THE 10th INFANTRY Division strongly condemned another attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who reportedly killed two soldiers and a militiaman in Barangay Candinuyan in Mabini, Compostela Valley yesterday morning.

“We condemn to the strongest degree the murder perpetrated by the CPP-NPA against our soldiers, their continued banditry and attacks disprove their sugar-coated statements. They claim that they are pursuing peace but their actions clearly contradict what they are saying,” said 10th ID commander Maj. Gen. Eduardo M Año.

“We sympathize with the bereaved families of the slain soldiers and will exert all efforts to bring to justice those responsible for this merciless, treacherous crime,” General Año said. “The families of the soldiers are yet to be informed of the incident”.

Two soldiers of 71st Infantry Battalion and one Cafgu were shot to death by around eight NPA members while they were on their way from Barangay Anitapan for Christmas break at around 9:45 a.m. yesterday.

They were identified as Lt. Ronald Bautista, Pfc. Albert Amor and CAA Renel G. Baluca.

Lt. Vergel Lacambra, Division Public Affairs Office chief, earlier said that soldiers are now on defensive mode during the suspension of military operations. “But the troops will be forced to fire their firearms if our enemy will shoot first,” he said.

“The 10th ID will continue to undertake active security operations and proactive actions to secure civilian communities, government establishments, investment facilities and military bases,” Lacambra said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been observing the month-long suspension of military operations (Somo) since Dec. 18 and has consequently shifted to community services while the Communist Party of the Philippines declared a staggered ceasefire.

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