TWO members of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit-Active Auxiliary (CAA) were killed Thursday, August 15, as they tried to repel New People's Army insurgents attacking a Cafgu camp in Abra, a military officer said.
Lieutenant Colonel Jearie Boy Faminial, commanding officer of the 24th Infantry (Wildcat) Battalion, said the personnel of the Cafgu detachment in Barangay Maguyepyep, Sallapadan, Abra, defended the camp against an assault by an undetermined number of NPA communist terrorists around 8:30 a.m. of August 15.
The firefight lasted for 30 minutes, Faminial said.
"We lost two of our men. They tried to fight and defend our detachment but it cost them their lives," Faminial said.
The 24th IB under the 70th Infantry Division has operational jurisdiction over the province of Abra.
"The first CAA died on the spot after being hit, while the other was rushed to the nearest hospital but was declared dead upon arrival at the Ducam Hospital in Dolores, Abra due to massive blood loss. The names of the killed CAA are withheld for the time being," Faminial said.
He said the terrorists were not able to enter the detachment as the militiamen kept the attackers at bay.
"The enemies were using scope from about 200 meters outside the camp but our people tried their best to prevent the terrorists from entering and taking over the camp," he said.
Faminial said it is yet to be confirmed if the enemy suffered casualties.
Following the incident, Faminial immediately sent three platoons of soldiers to pursue the communist rebels.
He said checkpoints at the possible exit route of the insurgents were established with the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Major General Lenard Agustin, commander of the 7th Infantry Division (Kaugnay), extended his condolences to the families of the killed CAAs, saying they died for the country as heroes.
He also condemned the underhanded tactics of the communist terrorists.
"It is a sad day for us in the 7ID as we lost good CAA men who did what they can to defend their base. For those culprits who are on the run right now, these communist terrorists who do nothing but take advantage of the weak, be assured that the full force of the law will be upon you. We will not stop until we have given justice to the deaths of our men," Agustin said. (PNA/With Jonathan Llanes)