DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 31, 2011) – New People’s Army rebels have claimed responsibility Sunday for deadly attack on a military convoy that killed four soldiers in the southern Philippines.
Dencio Madrigal, a spokesman for the Maoist group, said the attack was in retaliation to military operations on rebel strongholds in Davao del Sur province.
Rebels detonated explosives that hit the convoy of the 39th Infantry Battalion in the town of Malita.
“The Valentin Palamine Regional Operations Command claims responsibility for the tactical offensive against a military convoy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the 1002nd Brigade in the village of Tikulon, Malita, Davao del Sur on July 29 which resulted in the death of four 39th Infantry Battalion contingents and the wounding of several others,” he said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.
He said government offensives against rebel forces in the province is aimed at driving away the NPA and allowing foreign mining companies to operate in Davao del Sur, particularly in areas occupied by indigenous tribes.
“This tactical offensive using command detonated explosives was mounted in defense of the NDF territories in Malita, Davao del Sur which have been under continuous attack by the government troopers in order to clear the area for foreign, large-scale mining interests,” Madrigal said.
“This military operation, which has been going on for months now, is a requisite for ensuring the mining company’s free and easy access into the vast ancestral domain of the B’laan and Kaolo tribes,” he added.
The NPA has been fighting for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Although there is an ongoing peace talks between rebels and the government, both sides have not signed any cease-fire agreement and sporadic fighting still continue in many parts of the country. (Mindanao Examiner)