Army ties doc, nurse to NPA after clash
BAYOMBONG, NUEVA VIZCAYA — A doctor and a nurse were linked by the military to the New People’s Army (NPA) following a Feb. 12 clash between Army soldiers and suspected communist rebels in a remote village in Ifugao province.
The identification card, ATM cards and the professional license of Dr. Ana Marie Leung were recovered from a rebel camp that was abandoned following the firefight in Barangay Namal in Asipulo town.
A postal card belonging to Isabelle Anne Ramos, a nurse from Quezon City, was also found, according to Capt. Jefferson Somera, community relations officer of the Army’s 54th Infantry Battalion (IB).
The rebels abandoned an M16 rifle, bullets and laptop computers at the camp at Sitio Pinugao in Namal following the hourlong gunfight.
Army officials said the families of Leung and Ramos may claim the cards from the 54th IB base in Kiangan town in Ifugao.
The Army would ask the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze the contents of the ATM cards’ bank accounts that may have been used by the rebels, Somera said.
He said the judge advocate of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division was also studying whether there were grounds to charge Leung and Ramos.
Social workers had been helping villagers who fled their communitiess to avoid being caught in the crossfire, said Janet Armas, Cordillera director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The villagers have fled to the town center and have been given food packs, mats and blankets, according to the DSWD. —MELVIN GASCON AND KIMBERLIE QUITASOL
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