By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD
A relief team escorted by soldiers was strafed with bullets while on their way to earthquake-ravaged Surigao City.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., disclosed that a platoon under 1st Lt. Ryan Layug, the Civil-Military Operations Officer of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion were accompanying the relief team of ABS-CBN Foundation where fired upon by suspected rebels while traversing Barangay Linunggaman, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte Tuesday night.
The attack was in contrast to what the rebels initially announced regarding their proposed ceasefire in Surigao to make relief efforts in the area unhampered.
Major General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., the commander of the 4th Infantry Division condemned the latest action by the rebels.
“There is no way we can really trust these terrorists. They have deceived the entire Nation when they fired upon the team that is composed of Army and civilian volunteers who have just delivered relief goods to the earthquake-stricken communities,” Madrigal said.
Madrigal however assured their focus on providing assistance in terms of helping those affected by the strong tremor.
“While we are in the area helping our people to rise up again after they were badly hit by the recent earthquake, the NPA terrorists are also busy in making our people’s lives miserable,” Madrigal said “The NPA’s attack will not deter us to continue our efforts in helping the LGUs to bring back the normal situation in the entire province.”
(FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD)