BACOLOD CITY: The military has committed to ensure justice for the death of two intelligence operatives slain in Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental on Thursday, November 24.In a statement released on Friday, Brig. Gen. Leonardo Peña, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said, “We will ensure that justice for the victims will be served, and by all means, we will pursue the perpetrators who committed this horrible action against our soldiers.”The Army assured the public that the incident will not hamper the efforts of the soldiers in supporting the local government for sustaining peace and progress in their area of responsibility.On Friday, the Armando Sumayang Jr. Command-New People’s Army Southwest Guerrilla Front (ASJC-NPA) admitted responsibility for the ambush that killed Sgt. Regie Glendro and SSgt. Ken Camilan of the Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion (47IB).The 47IB said the slain soldiers went to Sipalay City to coordinate for the upcoming local peace engagement with the people involving the former mass supporters of the rebels.Both soldiers died on the spot. The armed men fled immediately.Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said that Camilan and Glendro were traversing the national highway of Barangay Camindangan to coordinate with village officials for the upcoming local peace engagement with the residents, who used to be rebel supporters, when they were flagged down and shot dead by the rebels.They were not in combat operations and were wearing civilian clothes when they were killed, Arevalo pointed out.He said he believes that the act of the rebels was in retaliation for the setbacks suffered by the NPA, following the discovery and seizure of arms cache on November 19 in Barangay Gatuslao, Candoni, and the surrender of Germelyn Planas Quiretan, an official of the South West Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros-Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor.
NSA’s Carlos slams Reds
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser (NSA) Clarita Carlos has condemned the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) and its armed wing, the NPA, for killing the two soldiers.Carlos in a statement issued on Saturday lamented that despite the government’s successful operations and other milestones in promoting peace during the last few weeks in Visayas, the latest report of the killing linked to the communist group “was both infuriating and saddening to hear.”Carlos, who is also vice chairman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), stressed the need to end terrorism.”Such tragedies will be repeated over and over again unless we solve the problem of insurgency and terrorism in our country,” she added.
Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, spokesman of the Legal Cooperation Cluster of the Regional Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict in Western Visayas, meanwhile, described the ambush as a “senseless, unjustified and cowardly act” perpetrated by the rebels.”These killings serve no purpose other than to affirm the fact that the CPP-NDF-NPA is a terrorist organization that has brought misery, suffering, and death to our people,” he said in a separate statement.”We condemn the CPP-NDF-NPA and the acts of violence that they commit against this nation and against our people,” Gonzales added.The task force also honors the fallen soldiers who had put their lives on the line to serve and to protect our freedom.The ambush came four days after an alleged high-ranking NPA leader died in a gun battle with the military in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
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6 NPAs neutralized
Meanwhile, NTF-Elcac Secretariat Executive Director Emmanuel Salamat hailed the success of the recent military operation in Northern Samar where six NPA members were neutralized.Government troops also seized 16 firearms and several personal belongings of slain rebels after the firefight in Las Navas town last November 23.”The unity among the AFP tri-service was quite impressive. But what’s really monumental in this success was the cooperation of the people in the area. They want to drive the rebels out of their communities,” Salamat said.According to former rebels who had surrendered to the AFP, the terrorists’ hideouts are surrounded by prohibited anti-personnel mines to kill the soldiers who will attempt to attack them.”We have been calling them to go home to their families, but these groups stand by their twisted ideology that has killed tens of thousands of Filipinos for their almost 54 years of existence,” the officials said.According to NTF-Elcac, there are five remaining active CPP-NPA guerilla fronts in the country. Four of them are in Eastern Visayas, particularly in Northern Samar. WITH REPORTS FROM ARLIE CALALO