FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Palayan City: The Philippine Army is pursuing New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who allegedly ambushed a group of municipal employees and military personnel who were on their way to a gift-giving activity in Sitio Sinagawan, Barangay Umiray, Dingalan, Aurora on Friday that resulted in the killing of a soldier and wounding of two others.
Capt. Ronel Rabot, acting chief of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division, said Maj. Gen. Angelito de Leon who commands the division, issued the order as the goods that were supposed to be delivered to Sinagawan Elementary School ended up lost at sea because of the alleged NPA attack.
Rabot said soldiers from the Charlie Company of the 56th Infantry Battalion, 7ID, led by Second Lt. Ghelyn Batomalaque provided security assistance to employees of Dingalan municipal government headed by Mayor Sherwin Taay for the gift-giving activity.
While aboard two motorboats, the group was fired upon by an undetermined number of NPA rebels as they neared the docking area, Rabot reported.
He said, “while the troops valiantly defended their group, the panicked actions of the civilians on board caused the boat to capsize.”
The command would not immediately release the names of the fatality as well as wounded soldiers. The military believes the rebels might also have suffered casualties.
De Leon, in his order, asked the military “to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
He condemned the assault “that does not even consider the safety of civilians.”