DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 1, 2009) – A government soldier was killed and another injured after communist rebels attacked before dawn Monday a military post in the southern Philippines, officials said.
Officials said at least 8 New People’s Army rebels were involved in the attack that occurred at around 1 a.m. in the village of Catigan in Davao City’s Toril District.
“Two soldiers were wounded, but one of them died before reaching the hospital. We still don’t know if there enemies killed, but there is a pursuit operation going on to track down the NPA attackers,” Captain Rose Maria Cristina Manuel, a spokeswoman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, told the Mindanao Examiner.
She said the soldiers were deployed in Toril following reports from villagers that NPA rebels were frequently spotted in the area.
“Field reports revealed that the NPA rebels are consistently seen in Toril area and exerting efforts to redeem their lost mass base. The organization of Barangay Defense System is pioneer in Toril District and it has been effective in solving peace and order problems,” Manuel said.
The Barangay Defense System is part of the military’s counter-insurgency program and is dubbed as the Integrated Area Community Public Safety Plan to monitor the movements of rebel groups. Many members of the Barangay Defense System are former rebels themselves.
But human rights groups accused the military of using the Barangay Defense System to harass civilians and forced them to give information about the rebels. (Mindanao Examiner)