SOME 89 families were forced to flee their homes after New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked a community where soldiers were conducting Bayanihan Team Activities Wednesday, March 15, in Agusan del Norte.
The military said troops from the 29th Infantry Battalion (IB) received reports of some 357 civilians from Hinimbangan village, Kitcharao town, who were compelled to evacuate to the town's gymnasium in Barangay Crossing because of the threats of attack by the NPA.
The military said residents claimed that the rebels forced the school faculty to cancel their classes while some insurgents allegedly fired indiscriminately upon some houses in the community.
The 29IB soldiers coordinated with the government officials to address the basic needs of the displaced families in the area.
Relief goods and food packs were also distributed through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development office.
Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Joy Aynera, 29IB commander, said the troops were there to help the local government unit in identifying the needs of the community in order to alleviate their living condition.
Aynera said the NPA has once again violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law which is the only document that was duly signed by the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front.
“This terroristic attack of the NPAs sowed fear among the people in that community. Rest assured that together with the PNP (Philippine National Police) we will defend the community and will bring back the peace and order in the area,” the 29IB commander said.
“Despite the incident, we are still thankful that the people in that community still vows to fully support the development programs of the government especially that it will benefit their families. With this, the 29IB will continue its efforts in solving the insurgency situation that hinders the peace and development in the area,” Aynera added.