(UPDATED) AT LEAST one soldier was killed and another was injured after they were attacked by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Motiong, Samar Monday, July 6.
A police report identified the slain soldier as Private First Class Sherwin Tejera and the injured as Private First Class Bryan Baybayon, both from 14th Infantry Battalion.
Captain Reynaldo Aragones, spokesperson of the Philippine Army's 8th Infantry Division, said the incident took place around 7 a.m. Monday along Barangay Canvais, Motiong town.
The two soldiers, who were in civilian clothes and onboard a motorcycle, were in the area for a community support program when they were ambushed by more or less 10 suspected NPA members.
Baybayon, who was wounded, managed to escape and asked for help.
However, when the Army troopers came back to the area, they saw the fallen soldier already with hacked wounds in his head and sustained severe burns in his body that made him unrecognizable, according to Aragones.
The Army official condemned the "treacherous" attack.
“We mourned the death of one of our army personnel,” Aragones told SunStar Philippines.
Authorities are conducting hot pursuit operations against the suspected NPA rebels.
As of Monday evening, no NPA group has come forward to own the attack.
The Samar Island has remained a hotbed of insurgency with the continued presence of the communist rebels who are tagged as terrorists by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. (SunStar Philippines)