Hundreds flee North Cotabato village after NPA attack on Army post
KIDAPAWAN CITY — Hundreds of civilians left their homes at Sitio Katindu in Barangay Malibatuan, Arakan town, following an attack by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at a nearby detachment on Monday morning, a police official said.
Town police chief Captain Jose Marie Molina said at least 20 rebels of Guerilla Front 53 tried but failed to overrun a military detachment in the village. He said NPA’s invasion try merely resulted to a firefight that lasted almost 30 minutes.
According to Molina, four regular members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 19th Infantry Battalion and backed by members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) ably defended their camp and prevented the rebels from coming closer.
“There are no reported casualties but civilians left their homes in the sitio (sub-village),” Molina noted.
About a hundred individuals temporarily stayed at the village hall while the military cleared the area.
Molina said villagers were advised to stay in safer areas and wait for instructions from military authorities on when it would be safe to return.
Village officials tended to the basic needs, particularly food and water, of affected civilians.
The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) has sent a team to assess the situation of evacuees for possible assistance.
In February, the village council passed a resolution declaring NPA rebels as persona non grata and vowed not to support their activities.
The same resolution also manifested the support of village officials and residents to the military by giving information regarding the presence of rebels in their place.
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