NPA rebels fire at Aquino security menBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A small band of New People’s Army rebels in Albay fired on security escorts of President Benigno Aquino as they were returning to their base Friday after providing security for the President at the wake of a soldier killed in a recent encounter with Abu Sayyaf rebels in Basilan, a military spokesman said Saturday.
Major Angelo Guzman, spokesperson of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said four members of the NPA’s “territorial force” fired four shots as the convoy of the Presidential Security Group, police, and Army soldiers was passing Barangay Palaspas in Ligao City.
Guzman said the President was not with the convoy and was already in Legazpi City at the time of the incident. The PSG members were then going to Legazpi to board a flight back to Manila while the soldiers were returning to Ligao.
“They indiscriminately fired without considering the harm it may bring to the students in a nearby elementary school,” Guzman said.
He said the incident happened at around 1:45 p.m. after the escorts provided security for the President’s trip to Pio Duran, Albay, where the Commander in Chief visited the wake of one of the 10 sodleirs killed in an operation against the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan on July 26.
Guzman said the four rebels, armed with two M16 rifles, fired four shots at the security convoy.
“The action was not intended to inflict casualty but a propaganda tactic to project and make the rebel’s presence felt in the area and to embarrass the security forces,” Guzman said. “Fortunately, no one was reported hurt by the rebels’ indiscriminate firing. Police and Army units in the area are pursuing the perpetrators.”