AFP belies death of 5 soldiers in supposed NPA ambush

Published November 10, 2019, 5:09 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Martin Sadongdong 

The military denounced the New People’s Army (NPA) on Sunday for allegedly spreading lies on the supposed death of five soldiers in General Nakar, Quezon province.

Armed Forces of the Philippines logo (Facebook/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Armed Forces of the Philippines logo (Facebook/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, denied the claims of the NPA-Southern Tagalog that the soldiers were killed in an ambush at Barangay Lumutan on Friday.

On Friday, Eliza dela Guerra, spokesperson of NPA Apolonio Mendoza Command based in Southern Luzon, released a statement about the supposed death of five soldiers in an NPA ambush.

“Any self-respecting spokesman would know that sowing lies and deceit among the people is unacceptable and such despicable act of the NPA’s spokesperson is aggravated by their attempt to use mainstream media,” Burgos said.

The supposed ambush was reportedly staged as the NPA opposed the construction of the P18.7-billion Kaliwa Dam project in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Calabarzon region, displacing native people.

It was picked up by some media outlets.

However, Burgos said the chief of police in the area denied there was such an incident.

“We hope that the media will not tolerate and glorify acts that bastardize the noble profession of journalism by giving attention to baseless claims such as this report,” he appealed.

On the other hand, Burgos said this was NPA’s “desperate attempt to gain relevance in the community as well as cover up the terrorists’ imminent downfall.”

He said his troops initiated an armed engagement against the NPA in a focused military operation at Sitio Labno, Brgy. Lumutan, General Nakar on Friday.

According to Burgos, no casualty was recorded on the government side while they expect losses on the part of the enemies of the state “as indicated by the bloodstains along the enemies withdrawal route.”

“Propaganda to destabilize the government and to recruit the youth and IP has been one of the NPAs’ main tool in their party and army building efforts to support the insurgency that they have been waging across the archipelago,” Burgos concluded.