DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The New People’s Army (NPA) said it will indemnify the families of civilians who were caught in a crossfire during an ambush against members of the Lanao del Sur police in Bukidnon last week.
Ka Malem Mabini, spokesperson of the NPA North Central Mindanao Region, said they are finding means to connect with the families of those wounded, including the four-month-old baby who died in the attack.
“The NPA-North Central Mindanao Region expressly extend their condolence to and are asking for forgiveness from the relatives of the slain and wounded civilians,” said Mabini.
“Whether we like it or not, the process of continuing a civil war entails certain unavoidable circumstances such as what happened,” he added.
Mabini said reports from their forces in Mt. Kitanglad Sub-Regional Command (MK-SRC) showed private utility vehicle passed through the blocking force of the NPA “just about 2 minutes since the exchange of bullets between the two forces started.”
The target of the NPAs was the patrol car boarding Philippine National Police personnel from Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur province that was passing along Kilometer 28, in Talakag-Bumbaran Road in Bukidnon last November 9.
“The NPA blocking force attempted to flag down the first vehicle, the said Toyota Fortuner, so that its passengers would be able to evade being injured, but to no avail,” Mabini said.
Two of the passengers inside the Toyota Fortuner were hit including Ali Citi, 53, who was hit on her left breast, and Ali Aminsalam, 37, who was wounded on her right arm. The four-month old baby was also among the passengers.
Meanwhile, Senior Police Officer 3 Arnel Carillo was killed in action while SPO1 Nathaniel Ibal, SPO1 Pacifico Cabudoy and chief of police of Amai Manabilang, Police Inspector Joven Acuesta were injured. An NPA member was also injured in the ambush.
Mabini said the NPA seized an M16 Armalite rifle with 10 magazines and two 9 mm caliber pistols.
“This incident, however, could not understate what the US-Duterte regime has openly committed. The military and the police overemphasize the said ambush as barbarous whereas they downplay their airstrikes, bombings and indiscriminate firing of innocent civilians wantonly victimizing them by the thousands in Marawi City and in nearly all Lumad communities,” he said. (davaotoday.com)