NPA claims raid, ambush in Southern Philippines

Sanchez said the raid in Tagum City as well as the ambush of government troops in both Tagum and Mawab town “is in line with the call of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines to intensify tactical offensives in order to seize more weapons and create more units of the People’s Army.”

By DAVAO TODAY
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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao has owned up the raid against a security agency on Monday and the ambuscades versus government troops on Tuesday in the country’s southern part.

In a statement, Rigoberto Sanchez of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command said communist guerillas who disguised as operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency conducted a 15-minute raid against the Dasia Security Agency headquarters in Dr. Juan Gonzales Street, Orange Valley village, Tagum City, May 20 evening.

The New People’s Army (NPA) released a photo showing the rifles, among others, they confiscated during the raid against the Dasia Security Agency in Tagum City last Monday evening.
The New People’s Army (NPA) released a photo showing the rifles, among others, they confiscated during the raid against the Dasia Security Agency in Tagum City last Monday evening.

NPAs, he said, were able to confiscate one M4 5.56 automatic rifle, three Baby armalite rifles, two M16 armalite rifles, two 12-gauge shotguns, ammunitions, ammunition magazine, vests and bulletproof vests.

Captain Raul Villegas said the NPAs only gathered seven high-powered firearms and upon escaping, the latter “abducted” six persons that include the agency’s manager and his family, a mechanic and two security guards. However, the NPA didn’t mention this in their statement.

Sanchez said the disarming of the security agency, which happened less than a kilometer away from the Davao del Norte Provincial headquarters and the Tagum City Philippine National Police station, “was a punitive action against its owner, the Escandor family.”

He said the Escandors were responsible for landgrabbing offenses against the Matigsalogs in Barangay Salumanay and Sitio Marahan in Marilog District, as well as the Ubo Lumads in Baracatan, Toril District, this city.

Meanwhile, the morning after the Tagum raid, Sanchez claimed of hitting elements from the Philippine Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion with a command-detonated explosive (CDX) along the national highway in Barangay Pandapan, Tagum City. Soldiers onboard a KM450 military vehicle, he said, were wounded.

1Lt. Vilmad Mojado confirmed this saying five military personnel and one military dependent were wounded. They are Privates First Class Lovie Joy Semillano, Joseph Mendio, Erwin Cordero, Bai Johana Durado, Ryan Torena and Gina Gubantes who were taken to Tagum Doctors’ Hospital for treatment.

At about 8 AM the same day, NPAs “discharged another round of CDX” hitting an armored personnel carrier in Sitio Tagmanok, Barangay Tuburan, Mawab town, Compostela Valley province. Sanchez said the explosion “resulted to high enemy casualties.”

The incident happened about two to three kilometers away from the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

Mojado said those hit were the reinforcing troops of 1001st Brigade on board KM450 vehicle whom, he added, were tasked to conduct road clearing patrols in the Tagum-Mawab highway.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Logico, 66th Infantry Battalion Commander, said civilians were injured and properties were damaged during the incident.

“These desperate acts of the New People’s Army put innocent civilians in harm’s way as they can no longer claim that they hit only military targets. This incident occured in the National Highways were many travellers pass. Nadadamay pati inosenteng civilian,” Colonel Angelito De Leon, 1001st Brigade Commander said.

Sanchez said the raid in Tagum City as well as the ambush of government troops in both Tagum and Mawab town “is in line with the call of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines to intensify tactical offensives in order to seize more weapons and create more units of the People’s Army.”

He added their operations “aim to develop fully the political and military strength of Red fighters under the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command in order to reach the strategic stalemate in the next few years.” (davaotoday.com)

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