16 hurt in clashes between NPA, gov’t troops in Davao del Sur

Karlos Manlupig
Eleven soldiers and five civilians were hurt in separate firefights between the government and the NPA.

LANDMINE: Shrapnel from the landmine hit the ambulance of the PDRRMC Davao Del Sur. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Eleven soldiers and five civilians were hurt in clashes with the New People’s Army (NPA) in the town of Bansalan in Davao del Sur on Sunday, March 2.

Capt. William Rodriguez, spokesperson of the 1002nd Brigade, said a firefight erupted between troops from the 39th Infantry Battalion and members of the NPA in Sitio Don Carlos, Barangay Managa at around 11:30 am.

Rodriguez said the communist rebels detonated an explosive during the clash, injuring 1Lt Ian Rogel Ngalew, 2Lt Joesepher Ansay, Cpl Joefrey Espina, Cpl Totoh Imar, Pfc Rowell De Guzman, Pfc Brian Ferrer, Pfc Jovane Adam, Pfc Edwin Mamalinta, Pvt Gonzalo Gella, Pvt Rodel John Reynalda, and CAA Albert Velasco.

Rodriguez said at 7:30 pm, members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), Red Cross Davao del Sur Chapter, medics and troops from the 39th IB were en route to Sitio Balutakay to evacuate the wounded soldiers when a blast  ripped through the convoy.

Five PDRRMC members were hurt in the explosion: Henaro Dumayas, who is in critical condition, Alberto Cabual Jr., Arnel Valeroso, Ivan Malingo and Bonita Dela Cruz.

All victims are now being treated at the Digos Doctors Hospital, Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said initial reports point to Menandro Villanueva, alias Nelson, secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, as having ordered the  offensive.

Cases vs NPA

Colonel Marcos Norman Flores Jr. 1002nd IB Commander, said charges are being prepared against Villanueva and his men.

“We will file a case against Villanueva and his cohorts in the local and national courts for frustrated murder and for violating the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL),” he said.

Flores cited Part IV, Article 4.4 of the CARHRIHL which states that civilians shall be distinguished from combatants and shall not be the object of attack.  

Flores said Villanueva and his men also face charges under the Republic Act 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other crimes against
humanity. – Rappler.com

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