KIDAPAWAN CITY: Communist rebels fired rifle grenade near the barangay hall of a remote village of Magpet, North Cotabato in a futile effort to drive away government forces on peace and development mission, a ranking Army official Thursday said.
According to Colonel Nilo Vinluan, 57th Infantry Battalion commander, the grenade attack occurred at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the village of Balete where the military is conducting peace and development outreach program.
Nobody was hurt among the civilians and military personnel.
The grenade, fired from M-79 grenade launcher, landed in an old basketball court beside the barangay hall.
“It was a clear sabotage against the military’s peace and development outreach program,” Vinluan said. “They do not want the soldiers in the area,” he added.
Vinluan appealed to the local residents of Balete not to fear military personnel in their communities for they remain with the government and will protect the people.
“Fear the communist New Peoples Army because they are not the armed forces of the government, they are making your life miserable by extortion, forced taxation and harassment,” Vinluan told the residents.
The Magpet police have joined the military in investigating the grenade attack.
Three days ago, a soldier was wounded when NPA snipers, fired at a platoon of 57th IB elements conducting patrol in the village of Batac, also in Magpet, a town situated at the foot of the country’s highest peak where the rebels operate.
Two days earlier, a couple member of the NPA yielded to government operatives after a year of fighting the government in the hinterlands of Magpet.
They accused the NPA of lies after they were promised compensation if they join the movement. The monthly compensation did not materialize. PNA