By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY – An Army soldier was killed early Tuesday morning in Iloilo province as the unilaterally declared ceasefires of the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) were shattered anew in a clash in Lambunao town.
Captain Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the Third Infantry Division (3ID), said the soldier was killed when government troops and 20 Communist rebels clashed at around 5:45 a.m., April 7, in Panuran village of Lambunao town.
The government and CPP-NPA-NDF earlier declared unilateral ceasefires to allow both sides to concentrate on efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“It is unfortunate NPA rebels came down from the mountains at this time,” Pancito told The Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.
Private First Class Mark S. Nemis of Madalag town, Aklan province was a member of the security team of the 301st Infantry Brigade (301 IB).
Pancito said the 301 IB security team was in the area after receiving reports that NPA rebels have come down, and have made another round of extortion calls on the locals.
The 301 IB security team was also augmenting local police force in the government’s COVID-19 response.
Meanwhile, the commander of the 301 IB condemned the attack while ordering troops to remain vigilant.
“All other units conducting similar activities related to the prevention of COVID-19 are reminded to be extra vigilant in order to preempt similar incident imposed by the Communists,” said Colonel Marion Sison in a statement.