DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Four government troopers belonging to the Philippine Security Group were wounded in an encounter with more or less 50 armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army in the boundaries of North Cotabato, Bukidnon and this city on Wednesday morning, July 1.
PSG spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Aquino belied earlier reports, in an interview with Davao Today on Wednesday morning that the PSG men were ambushed.
“That was an encounter,” Aquino told Davao Today, saying that the PSG men were on board in two vehicles and were traversing the Davao-Bukidnon highway when stopped at a checkpoint in the area of Camp 1, Barangay Gambodes, Arakan town in North Cotabato.
The NPAs disguised as members of Task Force Davao when they mounted the checkpoint, Aquino added.
The PSG personnel in the second vehicle were able to detect the armed men mounting the checkpoint were NPAs that started the firefight.
No one was killed on the side of the government troopers, Aquino confirmed, the four PSG men only suffered minor wounds and were immediately evacuated to a nearby medical facility in the area for immediate treatment.
Aquino said the PSG men came from Camp Panacan here and were heading towards Cagayan de Oro City for the usual administrative coordination and function when the incident happened.
NPA admits attack
The NPA admitted the attack against the PSG men on Wednesday.
Posted in an advisory at the website of Philippine Revolution Web Central, the NPA said the attack was carried out by the members of 1st Pulang Bagani Company of the NPA in Southern Mindanao Region.
A checkpoint was put up by the NPAs along the Davao City-North Cotabato-Bukidnon boundaries, the advisory added.
The NPA said they were able to hold members of the PSG and arrested an agent of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police.
“The operation was conducted amidst Mindanao martial law,” the NPA said.
The group also admitted responsibility to the attack of the members of the Philippine Marines in the province of Palawan on two fronts at around 1 pm on Tuesday, July 18, particularly in the towns of Roxas and Bataraza.
The NPA said three members of the marines were “either killed or wounded” and an M35 military truck was damaged during the twin attacks.
The Philippine News Agency reported on Wednesday that two members of the marines were killed by suspected members of NPAs in Barangay Tarusan, Bataraza. (davaotoday.com)