NPA captures soldier in a clash in Gingoog City

A SOLDIER was killed by communist rebels in fierce fighting last Saturday in Gingoog City.

Another soldier was captured by the New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas, reported Army Captain Jo Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division.

Killed was Corporal Nadir Bairulla and the captured soldier was Private First Class Adonis Jess Lupiba, Martinez said.

Lupiba, who was wounded in the leg, was seen being dragged away by the rebels.

"His cries and pleas for the NPA rebels to release him was heard all over the village," Martinez said.

Private First Class Ronlie Escaro, who was also wounded, escaped capture and was able to return to his unit.

Two civilians, residents of Barangay Alagatan, were also wounded in the fighting that took place at the barangay hall. Leticia Bonghanoy Cabrera, 52, was hit by a bullet in the right shoulder; and Ellen May Hinampas Hiludo, 14, had a bullet wound in the back.

Ka Allan Juanito, spokesperson of the NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Operations Command, said an NPA platoon attacked the soldiers who were camped at the barangay hall.

"The 58th Army Battalion was camped at the barangay hall which is a clear violation of the law of war. That is why the NPA platoon executed a tactical offensive," Juanito said.

Juanito confirmed they have captured the 26-year-old Lupiba.

Martinez said the soldiers were sent to Alagatan on July 9 after the barangay council reported the presence of NPA rebels in their village.

"Seeing they did not see any rebels for two days, the soldiers decided to report to the barangay council of what they found," Martinez said.

Unknown to the soldiers, the rebels were already in the village, he said.
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