Cafgu member killed in Northern Samar encounter

A MEMBER of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) based in a Northern Samar town was killed by communist rebels while he was serving as escorts to personnel of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Community Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro).

Killed on August 24 was militiaman Marlon Rebadulla, who was hit at his right breast, said Captain Amado Gutierrez, information officer of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City.

The encounter took place around 2:30 p.m. in Barangay San Jose, about three kilometers away from the town center of Las Navas, identified by the military to be one of the towns in Northern Samar the New People’s Army (NPA) operates.

Gutierrez said that Cafgu members, led by Senior Sergeant Delfin Mallanta, were providing route security to personnel of the DAR and Cenro on their way to Barangay San Miguel, also in Las Navas town, when they were attacked by the rebels.

Captain Gene Orense, spokesperson of the 803rd Infantry Brigade based in Catarman, said the two personnel from DAR and Cenro were about to attend a consultative meeting in San Miguel related to agrarian reform program and environmental issues when the attack happened.

San Miguel was about 10 kilometers away from the ambush site.

Orense said while the group, who were on foot, was traversing along Barangay San Jose, a group of about 30 rebels fired at them, resulting in a 20-minute firefight.

No civilian was injured in the encounter.

Gutierrez said the government troops recovered one hand grenade and M-16 rifle.

He said the Cafgu members belong to the 52nd Infantry Battalion, which is the main group of militiamen based in the region but were assigned under 63rd Infantry Battalion based in Catubig, Northern Samar. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)
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