NPA kills Air Force sergeant in Batangas attack
LUCENA CITY – A Philippine Air Force sergeant was killed when a band of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked a PAF detachment in Nasugbo, Batangas on Saturday afternoon, police said Sunday.
An undetermined number of NPA rebels swooped down on the detachment of the 730th Combat Group of the PAF 710th Special Operations Wing in Barangay Calayo at around 3:30 p.m., said Superintendent Chitadel Gaoiran, information officer of the Philippine National Police in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).
Soldiers manning the detachment fired back but in the exchange of gunfire, the NPA rebels hit Staff Sergeant Armando Silvestre, 47. He sustained two gunshot wounds that killed him on the spot, the report said.
The rebels fled after the short firefight.
The victim’s remains now lie at the Saint Peter Funeral Homes in Nasugbo.
The Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) strongly condemned the attack.
Major Angelo Guzman, Solcom spokesman, said all soldiers in Batangas province were on standby for deployment to assist victims of Typhoon Nona.
“The attack also puts into question their sincerity in unilateral ceasefire which they declared,” he said in a statement.
Guzman said police and Army soldiers have been deployed to track down the rebels.
The attack happened three days before the start of the 12-day unilateral ceasefire declared by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
On Dec. 14, the CPP ordered the NPA, its military wing, to cease from carrying out offensive operations against government troops from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, 2016.
On Friday, the government reciprocated the peace gesture and also declared its own 12-day unilateral ceasefire, covering the same period, in observance of the Yuletide season.