DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Two government soldiers were killed and six were wounded following a clash with the communist rebels in Paquibato, a statement from an Army official said on Sunday.
Major Ezra Latawan Balagtey, spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said that military troops from the 16th Infantry Battalion encountered a group of New People’s Army at Sitio Bajada, Paradise Embac, Paquibato District, this city early morning on June 11.
“The troops were responding to a reported consolidation of NPAs planning to conduct atrocities in Paquibato District when they were fired upon that led to the intense exchange of fire,” he said.
The government security forces, according to Balagtey, recovered one M653 Colt AR18 with serial number 127538 with one magazine long, two jungle bag, one civilian bag, electrical wire, and other personal belongings.
The NPA, armed-wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, in Davao region has earlier vowed that it would intensify its “revolutionary struggle” amid the Martial Law declaration in the island of Mindanao.
“NPA sub-regional, front and other territorial units are directed to protect and defend the people in their areas of jurisdiction” at the same time it would complement efforts of the “people’s democratic government” in all levels in the region to campaign against and stop the Martial Law,” said Rigoberto F. Sanchez, spokesperson of NPA in Southern Mindanao.
Sanchez said that NPAs in Davao region were tasked to defend “the masses in the offensive mode by launching tactical offensives against legitimate military targets.”
The communist rebels also declined to accept the offer of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to a localized peace talks with the government. (davaotoday.com)