NPAs fire weapons as Aquino’s guards pass byBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Communist New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas fired their weapons while security escorts of President Benigno Aquino III were returning to their base after the latter’s visit to Bicol on Friday, a military spokesperson said on Saturday.
Maj. Angelo Guzman, spokesperson of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said four guerrillas on the NPA’s so-called territorial force, fired four rounds as the convoy of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), police and Army soldiers was passing through Barangay Palaspas in Ligao City.
Guzman said the President was already in Legazpi City at the time of the incident. The presidential guards were going to Legazpi to take a flight back to Manila and the soldiers were returning to Ligao, he said.
Guzman said there was an elementary school near the place where the rebels fired their weapons. He criticized them for firing indiscriminately where there were children present who might have been hurt.
The shooting happened at around 1:45 p.m. after Mr. Aquino’s visit to Pio Duran, Albay, Guzman said.
Mr. Aquino attended the wake of one of the 10 soldiers killed in a clash with Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Basilan on July 26.
Guzman said the four rebels, two of them armed with M-16 rifles, fired four shots as the security convoy passed.
“The action was not intended to inflict casualties, but was a propaganda tactic to project and make the rebels’ 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,” he said.