Militiaman killed, 4 hurt in NPA ambush in Davao Norte
DAVAO CITY — A militiaman was killed while four others were wounded in an ambush by the communist rebels in Kapalong, Davao del Norte on Wednesday, the military said.
Col. Ricardo Nepomuceno, commander of the 1003rd Brigade, said a team of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) was passing by Sitio Kamunoan in Barangay (village) Gupitan when waylaid by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Wednesday morning.
Nepomuceno said the CAFGU members were returning to their camp in Sitio Patil, also in Barangay Gupitan, after hearing about President Duterte’s declaration of unilateral ceasefire.
Duterte on Monday suspended all operations against the NPA.
Nepomuceno said the CAFGU members, under the operational control of the 72nd Infantry Battalion, had conducted foot patrol the past days and decided to return to camp because of the unilateral truce the President has declared. The identities of the victims were not provided in the military report.
He described the ambush as “deplorable,” as it came in the wake of the government’s declared ceasefire.
The National Democratic Front (NDF) earlier said they would reciprocate Duterte’s declaration but as of Wednesday, it has not done so yet. The leadership of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, announced its order to troops to stay in “active defense mode” for now but did not outrightly declare suspension of all armed operations against government forces.
Nepomuceno said despite the attack, the military would not pursue the rebels in deference to the suspension of offensive military operations that Duterte has declared.
“We shall continue to abide by the ceasefire while we continue to secure the communities, other vital installations against NPA attacks,” Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, the commander of the 10th Infantry Division, said. SFM
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