DAVAO City– Eight soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 69th IB were killed and an undetermined number were wounded after a team of the New People’s Army’s 1st Pulang Bagani Company engaged them in a firefight on Sept. 19 at 1:15 pm.
It was reportedly preceded by an explosion of seven command detonated explosive in sitio Banban, Brgy Lumiad, Paquibato district, Davao city. Yet, the AFP “not only concealed the casualties, the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command went as far as to publicize a fake victory in saying that their forces overrun a big NPA camp and seized several explosives and high powered rifles,” said Ka Parago of the NPA Southern Regional Command, in a statement emailed to Bulatlat.com.
Ka Parago admitted that two NPA members Ka Boboy and Ka Cosme were “martyred in the Sept. 19 ambush.” He said that in full view of the peasant masses, the enemy (AFP) carried the bodies of their casualties using two Huey helicopters; one of the Huey helicopter which can carry 10 people, reportedly returned twice to the area. After an hour and 15-minute firefight, a white double body plane bombed the farm fields of sitio Banban six times, said Ka Parago. Later, he said the masses in the area reported that the road leading to the 69th IB battalion headquarters at Brgy. Dalisay, Panabo city was closed, as the AFP administered to disembarking of the bodies from the helicopter.
A hearse also reportedly twice returned to get the AFP casualties. Later the bodies of the two NPA martyrs were seen left at the headquarters.
Soldiers also reportedly carried two explosives from the site; later the AFP showed it to the media along with other previously seized explosives.
The AFP’s “fictitious story” heralded their other “fallacious media blitz” of a nationwide ceasefire with the NPA last Sept. 21, Ka Parago charged, adding that the script in Sept. 21 exposed the desperation of the AFP in further deceiving the public as to the real score of the US-Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan. “No such ceasefire occurred in Paquibato and elsewhere in the countryside.”
Military operations by the 69th IB reportedly terrorized the masses in Brgy. Lumiad, Mapula, Pandaitan all in Paquibato district.
One Joselito Panal, formerly with the 73rd IB, arrested a coconut wine gatherer, Gilbert Sibala in Carbon sub-village of Lumiad on 8 am of Sept 21. Sibala, a nephew of a retired master sergeant of the 69th IB, was reportedly forced to sign surender papers. Two soldiers acted as “witnesses” and allegedly forced the police to file charges against Sibala by using as planted evidence his picture taken while he was wearing a jungle uniform and carrying a weapon and ammunition.