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3 killed in NPA attack in Compostela Valley

DAVAO CITY, Philippines –  Two soldiers and a member of a government paramilitary group were allegedly killed by the New People's Army in Compostela Valley on Monday morning, December 29, the military said.

First Lieutenant Vergel Lacambra, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the 10th Infantry Division, said in a statement on Monday that the 3 were "unarmed" when they were attacked in Sitio Barigyan in Barangay Candinuyan, Mabini.

Two soldiers and a member of a government paramilitary group in civilian clothes were riding one motorcycle from Barangay Anitapan when they were shot pointblank by 8 alleged NPA members at 9:45 am on Monday, Lacambra said.

He said the 10ID "strongly condemns" what it called "another treacherous attack" by the NPA as it happened during the effectivity of a month-long suspension of military operations (SOMO) which began on December 18.

The government-declared ceasefire is from December 18 to January 19 but the  Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA ceasefire is only during certain days of the holidays and the visit of Pope Francis.

NPA members are ordered “to desist from carrying out offensive operations against units and personnel” of the military, police, and the government's paramilitary groups on the following dates:

December 29 is not included in the NPA's truce dates.

The military condemned the attack and said it undermined the peace process between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF). (READ: Communist Party confirms talks with PH government

"They claim that they are pursuing peace but their actions clearly contradict what they are saying,” said 10ID Commander Major General Eduardo M Año.

“We sympathize with the bereaved families of the slain soldiers and will exert all efforts to bring to justice those responsible for this merciless, treacherous crime,” Año  added

The families of the soldiers are yet to be informed of the incident. – Rappler.com