Soldiers ambushed in Kapalong town

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Monday, August 11, 2014


THE New People’s Army (NPA) allegedly ambushed on Monday government troopers who were manning Barangay Gupitan in Kapalong town, Davao del Norte, the military said.

One soldier was killed in the attack.

Captain Ernest Carolina, spokesperson for the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division, in a text message, said the Peace and Development Team (PDT) of the Bravo Company under Army's 60th Infantry Battalion were manning the area when the rebels attacked them around 5:40 a.m.

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He said the NPA rebels fired at the temporary patrol base of the troops at Sitio Kapatagan in Gupitan while the rebels reportedly positioned themselves at nearby schools and church, making it difficult for the troops to retaliate.

"The troops’ presence in Kapatagan was requested by the tribal leaders in the area as recently reiterated by Datu Arturo Davao and Kapalong Municipal Administrator Gaspar Balingao in a press conference last week," Carolina said.

Davao earlier said the rebels are still exploiting the indigenous people at Sitio Kapatagan. He also said that of the 37 communities under Gupitan, 11 were affected by the NPA rebels, adding that Gupitan has been suffering from several concerns that only the local government unit can address.

"The soldiers are still currently in the phase of gathering vital data on the needs of the people in order to fast track the influx of effective government projects. The NPA probably sees the potential development as a hindrance to their political agenda, thus they made effort to disrupt it," Carolina said.

The casualty was immediately evacuated to Eastern Mindanao Command Headquarters, Panacan, Davao City. The area is now secured as the enemy withdrew. No civilian casualties were reported. Government forces are in pursuit, Carolina added. (Ivy C. Tejano)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 12, 2014.

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