CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines – Less than a week after President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of national emergency, members of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the New People’s Army ambushed two soldiers of the 20th Infantry Battalion, Tuesday afternoon, November 27, in barangay San Miguel, Las Navas in Northern Samar.
Through Memorandum Order No. 32, Duterte ordered Friday, November 23, the deployment of more soldiers and police to the Bicol region and the provinces of Samar, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental to "suppress lawless violence and acts of terror"
Captain Francis Agno, spokesperson of the 8th Infantry Division Philippine Army based here, told Rappler that PFC Rommel C. Debuton and Corporal Jape V. Malbas of the Community Support Program team of the 20th IB were on their way to buy food in the Barangay San Miguel public market when they were ambushed by members of the SPARU of the NPA,
Debuton was killed while Malbas was wounded in the attack.
Malbas is now being treated in the hospital.
Soldiers of the 20th IB are now hunting the NPA rebels in the mountainous part of Las Navas.
Meanwhile, Major General Raul Farnacio, army chief of Eastern Visayas extended his condolences to the family of Debuton whom he said "offered and sacrificed his life while performing his duty."
According to Farnacio, Northern Samar is a "traditional hot spot area" and "these terrorists are depriving the people to act, think and live normally."
"Your Army will be more steadfast in its campaign, now, that we are under a state of national emergency, in suppressing lawless elements from sowing fear in the hearts and minds of vulnerable communities located in remote areas," Farnacio said. – Rappler.com