BACOLOD CITY – Four soldiers were slightly wounded in an ambush perpetrated by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at the boundary of Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental and Isabela town in Negros Occidental at around 10:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
A report from the Philippine Army identified one of the injured as 2Lt. Niel Christian Cureg, who led troops of the 94th Infantry Battalion (94IB) traveling on board a military truck along the road in Barangay Luz, Guihulngan when the rebels set off an improvised explosive device (IED).
Cureg and his three men, Sgts. Ronald Sabay and Gelmart Alegroso and Pfc. Joven Ticzon are now in stable condition after they were brought to a nearby hospital by troops of 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) based in Barangay Libas, Isabela.
After the blast, they engaged about five communist terrorist rebels in a 10-minute gun battle after which the latter withdrew towards Barangay Banog-banog, Isabela.
Lt. Col. Egberto Dacoscos, commanding officer of 62IB, said on Wednesday the ambush was a desperate attempt of the NPA’s Leonardo Panaligan Command to get the support of the masses.
“Their continuous use of IEDs clearly violates the Ottawa Treaty and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law,” he added.
In Guihulngan, Barangays Luz and Linantuyan have already declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as persona non-grata.
During the clearing operation in Barangay Luz, government troops recovered 23 rounds of 7.62mm ball attached to M60mm link, 67 rounds of empty 5.56mm ball, 150 meters of electric wire, six dry-cell batteries, three Molotov cocktails, and a backpack.
The ambush came four days after two members of the NPA hit squad were killed in a clash with 62IB troops Barangay Binobohan, Guihulngan. (PNA)