Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Soldier, weapons seized in NPA rebel raid in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / November 3, 2009) – Communist New People’s Army rebels raided a military post after overpowering guards and taking one soldier hostage, officials said Tuesday.

Officials said the rebels, clad in military uniform, raided the army post in the village of Casoon in Monkayo town in Compostela Valley province late Monday afternoon and carted away more than a dozen weapons, mostly automatic rifles.

They also captured Corporal Dominador Alegre and left behind other soldiers and military volunteers. The fate of the hostage remains unknown. Alegre is a member of the 72nd Infantry Battalion deployed in the province to fight the rebels.

Army officials said the rebels took a pair of M16 and one M14, including five carbine and ten garand rifles.

“The deplorable acts of these terrorists in the midst of all souls’ day show their total disregard to the cultural and religious sensitivity of the Filipinos. While the nation prays, these terrorists committed another crime against duly constituted authorities who are protecting our people and guarding peace and development projects in the province of Compostela,” said Colonel Eduardo del Rosario, commander of the Army’s 1003rd Infantry Brigade.

“They will do their worst to destroy our communities and oppress our people but our soldiers will do their best to protect our villages and serve our countrymen,” he added.

The NPA owned up the attack and said Alegre is being investigated for a still unknown reasons.

“In another telling blow to the Oplan Bantay Laya II campaign of the 10th Infantry Division, Red fighters completely neutralized and swiftly disarmed the enemy forces assigned in the AFP detachment. Detachment commander Corporal Dominador Alegre, of the 72nd Infantry Battalion, (serial number 781415), was taken for investigation. The Command shall issue a statement concerning Corporal Dominador Alegre soon,” said rebel spokesman Ka Nadem, a nom de guerre.

“Eighteen high-powered rifles were seized without a single shot being fired since the surprised enemy personnel had lost the initiative and the will to fight,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

In April, communist rebels also abducted Private First Class Ronnie Trinidad, who belongs to the 66th Infantry Battalion, in the village of Pagsabangan in Compostela Valley’s New Bataan town.

In January, NPA rebels freed a captured Special Forces commander, First Lieutenant Vicente Cammayo after holding him as prisoner of war for two months also in Compostela Valley.

Cammayo was captured November 7 after rebel forces attacked his unit and killed two soldiers and a government militia in a fierce firefight in Casoon village in the town of Monkayo.

Last year, the rebels also released a policeman Eduardo Tumol, who was seized November 5 at a checkpoint in the village of Baogo in Davao Oriental's Caraga town.

The NPA said that both Tumol and Cammayo were investigated for possible human rights violations and other crimes related to the operations of the Special Forces and the Provincial Police Mobile Group in Mindanao.

The NPA, armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines, is fighting the government for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Peace talks between Manila and the CPP-NPA collapsed in 2004 after both sides failed to sign an agreement to end more than four decades of bloody fighting. (Mindanao Examiner)

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