MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) is honoring the sacrifices made by the three soldiers who were killed by the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) terrorists while on patrol in Negros Occidental last Sunday.

“We honor the sacrifice of our three fallen soldiers in Negros Occidental who fought gallantly in protecting our people against the threat brought by the CPP-NPA terrorists while doing their duty to deliver services to combat Covid-19 (coronavirus disease),” PA commander Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said in a statement on Monday.

Initial reports said the troopers of the 94th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division were conducting security patrols to protect the distribution of the government’s Social Amelioration Program when residents reported the presence of communist rebels conducting extortion and recruitment activities in Sitio Tugas, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan, Negros Occidental.

The soldiers immediately responded and engaged in a 30-minute firefight with the rebels.

A landmine detonation killed 2nd Lt. Ralf Almante C. Abibico, Cpl. Joel C. Nobleza, and Pfc. Carl Venice S. Bustamante. Four soldiers were also wounded from the blast.

“Their sacrifice will motivate us to continue our mission with formidable resolve and bring lasting peace to our country,” Gapay said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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