AT LEAST 89 families or 357 persons were evacuated after suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas attacked a village in Agusan del Norte on Wednesday.
Lt. Col. Glenn Joy Aynera, Philippine Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion commander, said the rebels attacked Barangay Hinimbangan in Kitcharao town where the military was conducting development support and security operations.
The assault was followed by two more harassments, prompting the evacuation of the residents to a municipal gymnasium in Barangay Crossing.
“Once again, the NPAs have violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (Carhrihl) which is the only document that was duly signed by the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and NDF (National Democratic Front) when they indiscriminately attacked the said community that caused the eventual and force evacuation of the people,” said Aynera.
He added his troops were in the community to help the local government units (LGUs) identify and address the needs of the residents.
The municipal Social Welfare Development Office have distributed relief goods and food packs at the evacuation center and the battalion has coordinated with the LGU for other needs of the displaced families.
Meanwhile, the NPA also claimed to have raided the house of a police agent in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato and seized assorted weapons.
Rigoberto Sanchez, NPA spokesman, said rebels seized over a dozen automatic weapons, including a sub-machine gun and grenade launchers from the house of Reynaldo Dinampo on Wednesday afternoon. He said Dinampo’s house is just near the headquarters of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion and the city police headquarters.
“The NPA’s daring disarming operation was conducted in close proximity to the command headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion and several minutes away from the city police headquarters,” Sanchez said, adding, the rebels did not even fire a single shot when they carried out the raid.|
Sanchez did not say if Dinampo or any member of his family were inside the house when rebels struck, but claimed that “the masses in North Cotabato celebrate this recent disarming operation by the Red army as fitting revolutionary justice against the fascist Philippine National Police (PNP) that opened fire at thousands of protesting Lumad and peasants, killing three and severely wounding others, on April 1 last year in what is notoriously known as Kidapawan massacre.”
The police and military did not give any statement on the daring raid.
WITH AL JACINTO