Aquino to NPA rebels: We'll get you
MANILA, Philippines - It's a promise to the Guingona family and a warning to the communist rebels who ambushed on Saturday night, April 20, Gingoog City Mayor Ruthie Guingona, wife of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr and mother of Sen Teofisto "TG" Guingona III.
Mayor Ruthie, 78, survived the ambush but she suffered shrapnel wounds and broken bones. Two members of her convoy were killed. The outgoing mayor has been campaigning for her daughter Marie, who is seeking to replace her.
"Nangangako po ako sa abot ng ating kapangyarihan at kakayahan at sa ngalan po ng batas, mananagot po ang dapat managot," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Team PNoy campaign event in Misamis Oriental. "Hahabulin at dadagitin po natin ang mga taong nasa likod ng karahasang ito," the President added.
The rebels said they acted in "self-defense" because the mayor's security supposedly fired at a checkpoint set up by the NPA. The NPA apologized for hurting the mayor, but on Monday renewed its warning against local bets.
Jorge Madlos, a spokesman for the NPA, said it would continue to man checkpoints to "impose revolutionary policies" on candidates for the May 13 local elections. "They should secure permission and coordinate with our local forces when entering our area, and they should also not have armed escorts," he added.
Not ready to forgive
Mayor Guingona's husband, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr, said it will be difficult to forgive the rebels. “We are not ready to forgive,” Guingona told a press conference in Cagayan de Oro City.
Soldiers clashed with the fleeing communist rebels Sunday afternoon, April 21, hours after the attack on Mayor Guingona's convoy.
Maj Leo Bongosia, spokesman of the military's 4th Infantry Division, said members of the 58th IB who were conducting pursuit operations intercepted the guerrillas in Barangay Samay at 3:20 p.m. Sunday.
"The clash lasted 20 minutes until the rebels scampered away, leaving behind war and subversive materials," Bongosia said. There were no casualties on both sides.
The soldiers recovered a 9mm pistol, 18 live rounds of ammunition, 5 pairs of rain boots, 5 pairs of combat boots, documents and personal belongings.
He said the troops are continuing pursuit operations in the area to go after the unit that ambushed Guingona. - with reports from Karlos Manlupig in Davao/Rappler.com