ZAMBOANGA CITY – Communist rebels killed a government militiaman and wounded a soldier in an ambush in Compostela Valley, officials told The Manila Times.
The officials said New People’s Army (NPA) fighters opened fire on Matrinillo Enot and Pfc. Calid Alo who were travelling on a motorcycle in the village of Casoon. Monkayo town.
The rebels retreated after the ambush, and villagers brought the victims to a hospital in Tagum City, according to army Capt. Albert Caber, chief information officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command.
Caber, quoting Lt. Col. Elmer Aterado, commander of the 25th Infantry Battalion, said Enot and Alo were unarmed and in civilian clothes when they were attacked.
“This is another deliberate violation against human rights committed by the NPA. Our troops are simply protecting the community from illegal activities of the NPA such as extortion, among others,” Aterado said.
Caber said the Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, condemned the attack on Alo and Enot and ordered troops to intensify their operations against the rebel group, which has been fighting for a separate state in the country.
The NPA owned up the attack and said it was part of a harassment campaign to combat preparations for the bio-fuel, palm oil and mining projects in Agusan and Compostela Valley boundaries.
It accused the military, specially its peace and development teams, of abusing villagers to pave the way for the large-scale projects.