DAVAO CITY – New People’s Army guerriilas killed two soldiers and wounded six others in an armed encounter in Davao del Norte Tuesday.
In an emailed statement, Ka Aris Francisco, spokesperson of the NPA’s Comval-North Davao South Agusan Sub-regional Command said they “ambushed a platoon of 60th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Kapatagan, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte at 6am of July 29.”
In news reports, the two slain soldiers were identified as Privates First Class (PFCs) Elvero Batacandolo Jr and Fernando Mendozal. The six wounded soldiers were PFCs. Genesis R. Celestial, Ronnel D. Merisco, Orlan V. Parac, Travinio A. Dennis and Private Alfon A. Rocaberte Jr.
One member of the Army’s Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA) was also wounded.
In a television interview, Captain Ernest Carolina, assistant chief of the Division Public Affairs Office of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division confirmed the casualty figures and explained that they were hit by an crude bomb.
“It was the soldiers on security patrol who saw the (NPAs) first and shot first,” he said.
Franciso said that the NPA’s “tactical offensive served as punishment against a notorious army unit responsible for various atrocities against the masses.”
Francisco said that the 60th IB “occupied village centers and dwelled in civilian houses, prohibited the masses from going to their farms, used children as guides for their patrol operations, harassed leaders of mass organizations and butchered members of underground organizations.” (davaotoday.com)