Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2 soldiers, village chieftain killed in rebel ambush in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 22, 2009) – Communist rebels killed 2 government soldiers and a village chieftain in ambush Wednesday in Compostela Valley province in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the attack occurred at around 10.30 a.m. in the village of Banlag in Monkayo town. The trio was on a motorcycle on their way to a meeting with other village leaders when New People’s Army rebels attacked them, said Captain Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel, a spokeswoman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

“The soldiers and the local chieftain were about to meet other village officials in relation to the development projects to be done in the said place when the incident happened,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.

She identified the slain soldiers as Sergeant Wendell Salva and Corporal Pancrasio Catubig while the village chieftain as Juan Bacharo.

Major General Reynaldo Mapagu, a regional army commander, branded the attack as treacherous and said the soldiers were on a mission of peace.

“We cannot tolerate these kinds of individuals who victimize the civilians and taking our country hostage by destroying development projects and killing innocent lives who are trying to uplift the living of the people in the countryside.”

“They do not distinguish between armed and unarmed individuals. They repeatedly violated the Principles of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law.” Mapagu said.

The attack came after Manila and the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines announced the resumption of the stalled peace talks this year. The rebels have been fighting for the past four decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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