ZAMBOANGA CITY – A government soldier was killed in an ambush by communist rebels in the town of Guipos in Zamboanga del Sur, a military spokesman said Saturday.
Captain Jefferson Somera said Cpl. Danilo Saavedra and Pfc. Rommel Taneo were returning to their headquarters on a motorcycle when New People’s Army rebels attacked them in the village of Magting.
Saavedra was hit in the back and managed to return fire, but eventually died from his wound. Taneo held off the ambushers until Army reinforcements arrived.
The rebels escaped to the hinterlands. Somera said the soldiers were part of the so-called “peace and development” team engaged in community and humanitarian projects in the town.
Brig. Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, has condemned the killing of the soldier.
“This action of the enemy manifests their anti-development and anti-peace programs. Our troops were there to uplift the socio-economic condition of our fellows but were fired upon in a desperate attempt to disrupt them. This incident will not stop the 1st Infantry Division to bring peace and development in every community,” he said.
Police said at least 15 rebels took part in the ambush. The NPA has been fighting the democratic government for the establishment of a separate state in the country.