NPA owns ambush that killed 3 soldiers in Legazpi City
LEGAZPI CITY –– The New People’s Army’s Santos Binamera Command (NPA-SBC) on Monday took responsibility for the ambush that killed three Army soldiers on Sunday morning in Barangay Baquerohan in this city.
The soldiers, members of the Philippine Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion, were attacked by suspected rebels at 8:25 a.m. while traveling to the Legazpi City police station on a motorcycle.
Police said those killed were Corporal Joemar Maravilla, Private First Class Ronald Zamora, and Private First Class Reymar Palencia.
Another soldier, Sergeant Ferdinand Ignas was wounded.
A report said the soldiers were going to coordinate with the police to ask for clearance for military troops to assist a construction firm’s heavy equipment to pass through a road project at barangays Banquerohan and Bariis.
In a press statement issued on Monday, Florante Orobia, NPA-SBC spokesperson, said the attack was a reprisal for the scores of crimes and atrocities committed by the military in the countryside.
Orobia cited the killing of Eddie Bellugo of Barangay Banquerohan, who was tagged as an NPA supporter, and the massacre of five farmers in Barangay Dolos, Bulan town in Sorsogon as just some of the abuses committed by government forces against civilians.
Orobia said that to instill fear in remote rural villages, the military has stepped up its attack by carrying out a red-tagging campaign against critics of the administration and declaring the communist movement as a terrorist organization.
The government forces have also launched series of political assassinations, illegal arrests, torture, and militarization in the rural communities, which Orobia likened to the “Jakarta Style” offensive employed by the Indonesian government against the political opposition in 2016.
He said Bicol was among the regions with a high incidence of atrocities committed by the government forces with 34 political killings, four massacres, 144 military offensives, illegal arrests, torture, and fake surrenderees.
Brigadier General Bartolome Bustamante, Bicol police chief, has condemned the Sunday ambush in Legazpi City.
“Such cowardly and traitorous acts once again reveal their blatant disregard of the law and their utter lack of respect for human lives,” Bustamante said Monday. “This dastardly act is another addition to the NPA long list of crimes and further cement their reputation as a terrorist group.”
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