MANILA, Philippines - A militiaman was killed while four soldiers were wounded in separate attacks by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Samar and Batangas yesterday.
Lt. Col. Cerilo Balaoro, commander of the Army’s 87th Infantry Battalion, said a militiaman was hit in the abdomen when they encountered around 50 rebels in Barangay Ginbanga in Calbiga, Samar at around 7:35 a.m.
He said the soldiers were patrolling the area when the encounter occurred.
The militiaman’s identity was withheld as his family has yet to be informed about the incident.
Three suspected NPA rebels, one of them a woman, were captured after the encounter. Four fragmentation grenades, two pistols, a laptop and subversive documents were recovered from the three detainees.
In another incident, four soldiers were wounded in a landmine attack staged by rebels in Nasugbu, Batangas last Sunday.
Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Okol said troops from the 73rd Combat Squadron were on two trucks on their way to their base when the incident occurred.
Okol said one of the trucks hit an anti-personnel landmine in Sitio Munting Buhangin in Barangay Natipuan in Nasugbu town.
Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command spokesman Col. Generoso Bolina identified the wounded as Sgt. Philip Rañola, Sgt. Virodec Bobila, Sgt. Joel Salles and Airman Gershwin Valdez.
The four soldiers were hit by shrapnel and were brought to the Apacible Hospital also in Nasugbu.
Bolina said the landmine damaged the tires of the truck.
Okol and Bolina said the use of landmines is a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
Capt. Gene Orense, spokesperson for the Philippine Army, said at least two improvised explosive devices were recovered about five meters away from where the military truck hit the landmine.
The police and the military are conducting follow-up operations to identify and arrest those behind the attack. – With Michelle Zoleta, Arnell Ozaeta, Ed Amoroso