11 soldiers, 2 others die in ambush

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BAGUIO CITY—Eleven government soldiers and two residents of Ifugao were killed when suspected communist rebels ambushed the soldiers near the boundary of Gumhang and Binablayan villages in Tinoc town on Wednesday, police and military officials said.

Lieutenant General Anthony Alcantara, commander of the military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), said sniper fire killed the driver of a military truck ferrying members of the Philippine Army’s 86th Infantry Battalion, as it passed through Sitio (sub-village) Buhyo between 7 and 8 a.m. on its way back to camp.

Alcantara said the driver lost control of the truck, causing it to fall down a cliff. According to initial police reports, surviving soldiers engaged the rebels in battle, which left three more soldiers wounded.

Police said the two slain residents, who authorities have yet to identify, may have been caught in the crossfire.

Major General Rommel Gomez, commander of the 5th Infantry Division based in Gamu, Isabela, did not identify the fatalities, but said an Army captain and a female soldier were among those killed.

Ifugao Governor Eugene Balitang said the ambush took place in an isolated area in Gumhang village. The police ordered the evacuation of residents while government troops pursue suspected communist New People’s Army rebels.

Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong, Cordillera police director, said Ifugao police director Roger Bilibli has also ordered the setting up of roadblocks in Tinoc, Kiangan and Hungduan towns.

Gomez said the wounded soldiers were taken to the Ifugao Provincial Hospital in Lagawe town.

On Saturday, the military reported that six NPA rebels were killed in a clash in Natonin, Mt. Province.

But Simon Naogsan, spokesperson of the Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front (CPDF), denied that the NPA suffered casualties.

In a text message, Naogsan said: “The pronouncement of the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] that the NPA [had] incurred six casualties in an encounter in Sitio Tappo, Banawel in Natonin, is a lie. [The] truth is [there were] no casualties on both sides. No weapon was seized from the NPA; only a backpack.” Vincent Cabreza, Desiree Caluza and Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon

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  • $18209031

    RIP to my bros in arms. Hindi kayo  malilimutan.

  • tadasolo

    Find it hard to believed in these day and age and the availability of better intelligence and resources to track the enemy, the Philippine Army is still pursuing a losing tactic of exposing its soldiers harms way by not protecting them with armor especially the driver. There should be a change in strategy and hot pursuit of enemy should be done with better intelligence. What a waste of life and the leadership of AFP should be challenge to prepare better protection for these soldiers. The failure to protect soldiers is a testament to lack of vision and winning strategy by the leadership and the support of the politicians and Filipino people. Think of the marines who were ambush in Basilan and the AFP should have done better. HOW MANY AMBUSHES HAVE WE SEEN in the past and nothing has change.

  • limcat

    i would want to hear a comment from Eta Rosales of the CHR about the incident

  • Louise

    Me too, I want to hear a comment from Human Rights Avocates about what happened to the 11 soldiers, but for sure alam ko na isasagot niya. Gaya ng sagot niya against sa mga pulis & demolition team “trabaho nila yun eh”. 

    My sincerest condolences to the families and loved ones left by 11 brave men who died, their death will not be in vain. Saludo ako sa inyong kabayanihan. 

  • taga_labas

    May your souls rest in peace.  Please lang sana maging proactive ang mga pinuno ng mga kasundalohan lalo na sa force protection.  Naging kampante ang mga pinuno ng unit na yan kaya mga kalaban nag take advantage.  CHR should say something about this as well.  Is the CHR accepting this as part of warfare and no treachery involved?  Eye for an eye kung ganyan at wala ng katapusan ang labanan na eto.  

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