DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The killing and wounding of two soldiers in Surigao del Norte on Wednesday evening was a result of a misencounter between government troops, an NPA spokesman said.
In a statement Saturday, Ariel Montero, NPA Northeastern Mindanao spokesperson said there was no NPA force in the area when a reported encounter happened in Budlingin, Alegria town in Surigao del Norte around 8:30 pm on Mar. 8.
“30th IBPA CO Lt. Col. Amaro’s statement that an encounter ensued between his troops and the NPA-Front 16 in Budlingin, Alegria, Surigao del Norte last March 8, 2017 at around 8:30 in the evening, is a big lie. Not one among the NPA forces were in the area during that time. The gunfire came from his own troops,” Montero said.
Montero added that the troops “fired upon each other during their patrol” which resulted in the killing of Private First Class Jhon Francis Rivera and the wounding of Pfc. Windyl Daayata.
In an Inquirer report, 2Lt. Jonel Castillo, the civil military officer of the 30th IB said Rivera’s death and the wounding of Daayata resulted from a firefight with the NPA. He said the Army was heading to Budlingin when the encounter with the NPAs ensued.
Montero said the government troops “were afraid of their own shadows after they heard that the NPA will attack their camp in the Multi-Purpose Barangay Hall in Budlingin.”
“The enemy immediately patrolled the area but they began firing a mere 20 meters away from where they were encamped. The incident shows the failure of their civil-military operations through COPD/PDOP in the said barrio as they do not feel safe,” he added.
Montero said the Army’s statement only aims to “smear the NPA and the entire revolutionary movement.” (davaotoday.com)