Army denies NPA killed 10 soldiers

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LAS NAVAS, Northern Samar: The 803rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army (PA), based in Camp Sumoroy, Catarman, Northern Samar broke its silence on reports that 10 soldiers have been killed in a series of attacks perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) under the Silvio Pajares Command here.

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In a media briefing on Monday afternoon at Las Navas Mayor Minda Tan’s residence some 70 kilometers away from the capital town of Catarman, Capt. Federico Morales, Civil Military Operations (CMO) chief and official spokesman for the 803rd Brigade, said there was no truth to the claim that 10 soldiers were killed in action in Barangay Bangon, Gamay; Barangay Potong, Lapinig; and Barangay Carawag, Palapag, all in Northern Samar.

NPA-Eastern Visayas under the Efren Martires Command made the claim in a statement posted in the Facebook account of a certain Roy Santos a few days ago.

“The NPA statement through the Efren Martires Command that there were 10 soldiers killed in separate attacks was fake news and mere propaganda just to show that these rebels are still strong,” Morales said.

He added that there was indeed a series of clashes between government troops and the NPA but there were no casualties on the government side as the NPA claimed.

In the statement, the NPA said a certain Sgt. Falconete was killed in a gunbattle in Barangay Bangon but Morales said Sgt. Falconete is alive and is still with his detachment as its commander.

When asked if the Army could provide proof that Falconete is still alive, he said, “I would ask the superior officer of Falconete to give him a pass so that I can present him before the media just to show that he is alive.”

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