Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Four Seized In Southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 31 Jan) Suspected communist insurgents seized four people in separate attacks in the southern Philippines, officials said Tuesday.

Officials said gunmen seized Rodolfo Adang, a militiaman working for the army, in the remote Paquibato district in Davao City and three other civilians Tony Lague, Inggo Asilo, and Berino Mambuo had been abducted also in the area.

The four had been seized last week, but their relatives only reported the incident to authorities Monday.

Fresh military reports tagged the group of New People's Army (NPA) leader Parago Sandoval as behind the abduction and that troops were deployed in the hinterlands of Paquibato to track down the insurgents.

"There is an ongoing operation in the area. Troops from the 73rd Infantry Battalion are tracking down the rebels and their victims," said Maj. Gamal Hayudini, chief information officer of the military's Southern Command.

Troops also clashed with NPA forces Sunday in the village of San Roque in the outskirts of Bislig City in Surigao del Sur province, leaving one government militia wounded and a still undetermined number of rebel casualties.
The rebels attacked the militias guarding a paper mill factory sparking a 15-minute running gun battle, officials said.

Last week, communist rebels attacked a military post and killed two soldiers and wounded two others in San Agustin town in the province.

Prior to the attack, NPA gunmen also shot and killed a soldier and two militiamen inside a passenger jeep in North Cotabato province. A civilian passenger and another militia were also wounded when rebels opened fire on their targets near the village of Bagsak in the town of Magpet.

The NPA, armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF), is fighting the past three decades to topple the government and install a Maoist state in the country.

Peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels collapsed following the pullout of the National Democratic Front (NDF) from the talks due to its inclusion in the terror lists of the United States and the European Union.
Rebel leaders demanded that Manila asks the United States and the European Union to strike them off from the terror lists before they resume peace talks.

The rebels have vowed to step up attacks on government targets after Manila last year suspended safety and immunity guarantee for its negotiators following the collapse of the peace talks.

No comments: