Rebels capture 2 soldiers guarding banana plantation | Inquirer News

Rebels capture 2 soldiers guarding banana plantation

/ 11:40 AM December 02, 2014
npa

New People’s Army. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte — Disguised as workers, communist rebels abducted two soldiers guarding a banana plantation operated by a Japanese company in New Corella town in Davao del Norte early Tuesday, police and military officials said.

Donning white overalls, at least 20 New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas sneaked past security by posing as fungicide applicators of Sumitomo Fruits Philippines (Sumifru) in the village of San Roque at about 4 a.m.

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The rebels then fanned out, disarmed the farm security guard before taking the two soldiers, said Chief Inspector Levitico Estay, spokesperson of the Davao del Norte police office.

They took the shotgun and two handheld radios of guard Darwin Sajulga, while others went to the airstrip, where the bunkhouse of the Philippine Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion augmentation force was located.

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“At gunpoint, the rebels abducted Cpl. Benjamin Samano and Pfc. Mark Ricarte and seized their firearms and ammunition,” Estay said in a text message.

The rebels commandeered one of the company’s Isuzu Elf trucks and fled to the hinterlands, Estay added.

“They shouted ‘Mabuhay ang NPA (Long live the NPA)!’ before escaping,” he said.

Lt. Vergel Lacambra, public information officer of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the raid that lasted about five minutes was believed to have been carried out by the NPA’s Front 33.

“We condemn this latest criminal act by the NPA. Our troops are now conducting pursuit operations to locate and rescue the soldiers,” Lacambra told The INQUIRER by mobile phone.

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TAGS: banana plantation, Davao de Norte, NPA, rebels, soldiers captured, Tagum City
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