2 soldiers injured in ambush by NPA rebels in Northern Samar
Published: 6:08 p.m., Dec. 17, 2017 | Updated: 11:31 p.m., Dec. 17, 2017
CATARMAN, Northern Samar — Two soldiers, whose unit was heading to a storm-hit village in Catubig town in Northern Samar, were injured in an ambush by suspected communist rebels.
Pfc. Roland Gomez got a bullet wound in the buttocks while Cpl. Yzazel Laure was hit in the belly, according to to 2nd Lt. Michelle Estares, information officer of the 20th Infantry Battalion based in Catubig.
The two soliders are part of a team of 14 soldiers from the the 20th IB who were on their way to Barangay Hinagoyonon, Catubig on Saturday afternoon to help residents affected by flooding caused by heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm “Urduja.”
Northern Samar has been placed under a state of calamity after more than 2,000 families had been evacuated due to the floods.
On reaching Barangay San Miguel in Catubig at around 3: 20 p.m., about 50 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) fired at the soldiers.
The battle lasted for more than an hour before the rebels fled.
The two injured soldiers were taken to the Catarman Community Hospital in Catarman town. They were declared in stable condition.
Other soldiers from the 20th IB, whih is commanded by Col. Noli Lapizar, immediately conducted pursuit operations against the rebels.
Estares said that they were disappointed that the rebels staged the ambush on government troopers who were on their way to a mission to help flood victims.
Estares said she was disappointed that the rebels staged the ambush.
“Our troops were there to conduct HADR [humanitarian assistance and disaster response] as part of our responsibility to conduct disaster rescue operation and help people who need assistance during disasters,” she said in a text message to reporters.
Romina Marasigan, spokesperson for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, denounced the NPA attack.
“I hope the NPA rebels understand what they have done. If they themselves become victims of disasters, we will also provide them with their needs,” Marasigan said.
Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte last month unilaterally terminated peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), citing their lack of sincerity in negotiations as the NPA continued its attacks.
The NDFP is the political arm of the CPP while the NPA is its armed wing. —With a report from Nikko Dizon
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