2 soldiers hurt in clash with NPAs in Cotabato

Published March 23, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Malu Cadelina Manar

Kidapawan City – Two soldiers of the 19th Infantry Battalion of the 901st Brigade were wounded after government forces engaged a still undetermined number of communist guerillas in a running gunbattle in the hinterlands of Magpet town in North Cotabato, Thursday, top military executive said.

Capt. Randy Llunar, civil military operations (CMO) officer of the 901st Brigade, said the wounded soldiers, whose identities were withheld for security reasons, have been airlifted to Davao City for treatment.

One of the soldiers was hit in the head, while the other sustained injuries in the arm, the CMO officer said.

Llunar said the troops rushed to Magpet town after they confirmed reports that guerillas were sighted in Barangay Manobo.

“This was part of our focused-military operations… to secure our residents in the area.   So we’re here to provide the people peace and security,” said the military officer.

Llunar said he has yet to determine the leader of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) that his men had engaged with along the boundary of Barangays Bangkal and Manobo.

The encounter, that started 1030 a.m., on Thursday, lasted for about two hours, the military official said.

The area, according to military’s intelligence reports, is under the NPA Front 53 whose leaders include a certain Commander Joel.