DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The New People’s Army (NPA) said one soldier was killed while several were wounded in two armed attacks against government soldiers in Davao Oriental.
The casualty figures were accounted in the April 26 ambush against the soldiers of the 28th Infantry Battalion.
In an emailed statement on Sunday, April 29, regional NPA spokesperson, Rigoberto Sanchez said the soldiers were on foot in Purok Kinawasan, Barangay San Isidro in Lupon town when NPA fighters of the 6th Pulang Bagani Company detonated an explosive device.
Aside from casualties, NPA claimed they seized a Remington Carbine M4 rifle during the clash.
On the same day, the 28th IB “carried out first round of artillery strike” towards civilian communities of San Isidro and Likop in Mati City which ALL allegedly destroyed houses and farms, said Sanchez. He said some 50 families evacuated as the soldiers carried another round of strike that lasted for three hours until midnight.
On Saturday, another unit of the NPA “launched attritive action” against the detachment of 28th IB and 72nd IB in Barangay Marayag, Lupon while an NPA company mounted a temporary checkpoint in a nearby military checkpoint along the national highway in Lupon, he added. There was no report of casualties.
Sanchez said the 28th IB allegedly “terrorized ” civilian communities in Lupon and Mati City, including the tenement area s of Chinese-owned mining companies Phil. Youbang Mining Corp., Dabawenyo Minerals Corp., and Phil. Jenshen International Mining Corp.
“Residents of the villages were subjected to “clearing operations”—which cover the usual intimidation, red-baiting, forced surrender and periodic food blockade—to make way for the unimpeded environmentally-destructive operations of the mining companies,” said Sanchez.
Last month, the provincial government of Davao Oriental inked a memorandum of agreement with foreign investors for the construction of an industrial park that will house an energy plant, petrochemical refinery, fertilizer factory, cement plant and WaterGen Manufacturing Facility
The NPA spokesperson said the recent attacks is a “slap” on the local officials of Davao Oriental province, Cong. Corazon Malanyaon and Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang, who declared that the province is “cleared and insurgency-free.”
The NPA said they expect militarization to intensify in Davao Oriental in retaliation. (davaotoday.com)