NPA attack on troops securing COVID-19 aid distribution kills 2 soldiers
FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY — Two soldiers were killed while three others were wounded in an attack on Tuesday (April 21) by gunmen believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels during the lockdown in the town of Maria Aurora, Aurora province, the military reported on Wednesday (April 22).
The soldiers, from the Army’s 91st Infantry Battalion, were securing the area as employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) were distributing cash to beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program.
The program was part of government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and aimed at helping poor households cope with movement restrictions during the lockdown.
According to a report of the Public Information Office of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, NPA rebels opened fire at soldiers en route to the village of Diaat, killing one soldier and wounding another who died later in a hospital.
The soldiers returned fire and engaged rebels in an hour-long gun battle.
Lt. Col. Reandrew Rubio, acting commanding officer of the 91st IB, said the attack was “unfortunate,” criticizing the rebels for bringing violence to a community that is struggling with COVID-19.
“I am very proud of my soldiers, they are among our modern heroes,” said Brig Gen. Alfredo V. Rosario, 7th ID commander.
“For their acts, they will be forever remembered,” Rosario said.
“Sooner or later, we will catch these bandits and for sure they will pay for the crimes they have committed,” he said.
Edited by TSB
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