12 soldiers hurt in Bansalan clash honored

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Thursday, March 6, 2014


THE Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division commander Major General Ariel Bernardo lauded on Wednesday the 12 soldiers wounded in an encounter with New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur for a job well done.

Lauded and rewarded each with a "Wounded Personnel Medal" were First Lieutenant Ian Rogel Ngalew, Second Lieutenant Joesepher Ansay, Corporal Toto Imar, Corporal Joefrey Espina, Corporal Rufino Aquas Jr., and Private First Class (Pfc.) Brian Ferrer.

Also rewarded were Pfc. Rowell De Guzman, Pfc. Jovanie L. Adam, Pfc. Edwin Mamalinta, Private Gonzalo G. Gella Jr., Private Rodel John Reynalda, and Cafgu Almadine A. Ongot, of the 39th Infantry Battalion.

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Bernardo visited the soldiers at Camp Panacan Station Hospital in Panacan in Davao City, aside from the recognition, to check their health condition and discuss the incident last Sunday.

The 12 soldiers were wounded after the communist rebels set off a landmine during their encounter at Sitio Balutakay in Barangay Managa, Banslan in Davao del Sur on Sunday around 11:18 a.m.

"What they (troops) did was a valiant achievement, considering the NPA had a prepared defense complete with landmines, which is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL)," Bernardo said.

"We are sustaining casualties, but it is a fact that in armed combat, there are risks and uncertainties. What is important here is that our soldiers recognize their responsibility to the people and heed their call," he added.

Bernardo said the recent encounter marked the 22nd incident that the community tipped them off about NPA presence since the year started.

"The landmine blast triggered by the NPA on three ambulances following the encounter further added to public condemnation of the movement fueled by a globally discredited ideology," Bernardo said.

He also said the incident will be subjected to an indignation rally that will be headed by the Provincial Government of Davao del Sur.

On the other hand, the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC) admitted its fault for setting off a landmine wounding the five volunteers of the Provincial Disasters Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and Red Cross.

"Among giangkon ang responsibilidad sa maong binuhatan tungod among giila nga ang mga medical staffs ug mobile medical unit, dili angay mahimong target sa bisan unsang atake ug ang ilang proteksyon ug seguridad gigarantiya sa IHL (We take the responsibility of what we did considering that the medical staff and their unit should not be a target of any attach as guaranteed by the International Human Rights Law)," SMRC spokesperson Rigoberto F. Sanchez said.

Sanchez added that the NPA SMRC apologized for their attack on the army and civilian medical convoy that wounded Henaro Dumayas, Ivan Malingo, Bonita dela Cruz, Alberto Cabual Jr., and Arnel Valeroso.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 07, 2014.

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