Army, rebel group tension still high in Magpet-A A +A
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Some 200 families from two villages in Magpet town in North Cotabato have refused to return homes amid high tension between government forces and New People's Army (NPA) members.
The evacuees, who are temporarily housed in barangay halls and other government facilities in Barangays Manobo and Kinarom in Magpet, fear of being caught in the crossfire.
Many have sought shelter at relatives' homes.
On Saturday, four soldiers were wounded when they encountered some 30 fully-armed rebels in the hinterlands of Barangay Manobo.
The guerillas were led by a certain Commander Ponyong of Guerilla Front 53 of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command, military report said.
The soldiers from the Army's 57th Infantry Battalion and the 6th Division Reconnaissance Company continue to launch ground assault in areas they considered highly influenced by the rebels until Monday.
On Tuesday, the local government of Magpet distributed food and relief items to hundreds of evacuees.
Magpet Mayor Efren Pinol said the town's ambulances would be available to carry wounded soldiers, including rebels, to the nearest hospital for treatment.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 14, 2011.