THREE unarmed soldiers in civilian clothes were shot dead by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) fighters in Legazpi City, Albay on Sunday morning, January 17, 2021, a military official said.
Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., Southern Luzon Command commander, said the three soldiers were on their way to attend a coordination meeting with the local government unit in over the security requirements of a road project.
He declined to identify the soldiers because they have yet to inform the families.
Parlade said the killing might have been in retaliation for the intensified combat operations in the area, which led to the surrender of 11 NPA members including a vice platoon leader.
In a command conference, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay ordered the troops to further intensify the war against insurgency and dismantle the remaining communist guerrilla fronts before the end of 2021.
He said the military has dismantled 22 guerilla fronts. There remain 54 others.
Nine other regional armed groups “were already decimated and on the brink of collapse.”
"Focused military operations shall be intensified in order to destroy the armed groups, taking advantage of our newly acquired game-changer assets," Gapay said. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)