DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 16, 2010) – Communist rebels shot and wounded three government soldiers in a clash Saturday in the southern Filipino province of Davao del Sur, a military spokesman said.
The fighting erupted in the village of Sinoron in the town of Santa Cruz where troops had been tracking down New People’s Army rebels behind the spate of attacks in the province.
“Three brave soldiers were wounded in the encounter and immediately evacuated to the hospital. Pursuit operation is going on to ensure these rebels could no longer pose a threat to the lives of our people,” said Lieutenant Colonel Medel Aguilar, of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.
He said troops recovered 9 backpacks and tents left behind by the rebels under NPA leader Roberto Castillote, who was tagged as behind the February ambush of three policemen and a civilian in Davao del Sur’s Bansalan town.
The military did not say if there were rebel casualties, but Aguilar said security forces are tracking down the leader of the NPA band.
“Castillote is facing multiple criminal charges. We are tracking him down,” Aguilar said.
The NPA is the armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines which has been waging a secessionist war for decades now.
Just this month, New Zealand blacklisted the CPP and the NPA and included the two groups in its list of international terrorist organizations. (Mindanao Examiner)