By GLAZYL MASCULINO
BACOLOD CITY – Two members of the Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) were killed in an ambush allegedly staged on Black Saturday by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Cambaga, Barangay Yao-Yao, Cauayan, Negros Occidental.
According to Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of 3rd Infantry Division (ID), the two soldiers were on their way back to the camp from their Community Support Program (CSP) activity in the area when armed men opened fire at them.
Pancito said the soldiers, who were part of the intelligence section of the Army, were on board their motorcycles when the ambush happened.
“They were not in combat mode and even not in their uniforms, but the NPAs are waging deceptive tactics to attack them,” he added.
Pancito believed that the NPA rebels still have militiamen on the ground giving them information, thus the attack happened.
Pancito said they cannot yet release the names of the casualties as their families were not yet informed about the incident.
Pancito said they honored the bravery and dedication of their fallen comrades who contributed to the peace and order in the said village, which he claimed to be a guerilla zone.
The ambush came a week after 10 suspected rebels were killed in an encounter between the 62nd IB and the NPA in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, on March 23.
The March 23 encounter was followed by another clash between the NPA and Philippine National Police (PNP) – Special Action Force (SAF) in Barangay Nagbinlod, Sta. Catalina town on March 29, that resulted in the death of two rebels.
On April 2, the local police clashed again with suspected NPA rebels in the said village, following reports of the alleged presence of armed men in the area.
A wounded man believed to be an NPA member, reportedly left by his fleeing comrades, was rescued by the police after the eight-minute firefight, based on a police report.