1 soldier killed, another wounded in Surigao Norte clash

BUTUAN CITY -- A soldier was killed while another was wounded after a firefight erupted between elements of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) and alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the town of Alegria in Surigao del Norte, Wednesday evening, March 8.

A report from the 30IB revealed that around 8 p.m. Wednesday, soldiers were on their way to Budlingin village to check on intelligence reports of the presence of NPA rebels in the Indigenous People’s community.

“Last night, our troops encountered the NPA while they were on their way to the village to secure the area after we received reports of the NPA harassing the community. Then a 30 minute firefight erupted against around 10 to 15 NPAs which lead to the death of a soldier while injuring another,” said Second Lieutenant Jonel Castillo, civil military officer of the 30th IB.

Castillo identified the soldier who was killed in action as Private First Class (PFC) John Francis Rivera, 27, and the wounded as PFC Windyl Daayata, 26.

Rivera and Daayata are both from the province of Bukidnon.

Castillo said that the NPA activity in the area is not new and that the armed group is going back to the IP community to bolster their ranks.

“This group is headed by commander Ricky, and they have been going back to the area to conduct recruitment operations taking advantage on the IP community,” said Castillo.

The NPA is yet to issue a statement regarding the said incident.
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