By Bonita Ermac
ILIGAN CITY – A man was slain in an attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Spring, Barangay Cawayan in San Fernando, Bukidnon, on Friday, May 22.
This was disclosed by 403rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Ferdinand Barandon, who said that the attack was launched by terrorists belonging to the Guerilla Front Malayag, Sub Regional Committee-2 (SRC-2), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
Barandon said killed in the attack was Jerson Blanza, 23,and son of the chairman of Barangay Magkalungay in San Fernando, Bukidnon. He was fatally hit in the first volley of fire of the NPAs.
“We are deeply saddened with Jerson’s loss. His father PB Blanza has been very supportive of our efforts to keep his people from NPA manipulation and on our war against COVID19. We offer our sincerest condolences and we strongly condemn this terror act of the NPAs”, Barandon concluded.
The commander also said Barangay Cawayan was once an NPA stronghold, and that the terrorists were determined to recover the area at all cost.
“We all know that the NPA does not value human life. They recruit children to bear arms and they kill their allies and comrades wanting to leave their doomed revolution” Barandon said.
“Everyone knows they only wanted power and money. As everyone of us thinks of ways to help one another to survive this pandemic, they are still bragging they have time to plan and attack communities.” Barandon added.
403Bde spokesman Capt. Rene Belmonte said, the brigade’s unit since the start of quarantine season have been engaged on information and education campaign on coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19).
“We do loud speaker operations, radio programs, social media operation, check point operation, community and sitio visitation, and recently leaflet/info kit dropping thru our air assets.
We do all of these while doing security operations to ensure every Filipino is equipped with knowledge to combat COVID19 while at the same to ensure our people are secured from threat and intimidation of terrorist groups”.
A mother from Sitio Spring pleaded the soldiers not to leave their place. Thus saying “please, we don’t want our soldiers to leave, we are afraid of the NPA. We are uncomfortable when they’re here, we don’t want oir place to be called NPA area.
This came as soldiers visit Sitio to Sitio to dessiminate government efforts and information about COVID19.
“We are deeply saddened of Jerson’s loss. His father PB Blanza is very supportive of our efforts to keep his people from NPA manipulation and on our war against COVID19. We offer our sincerest condolences and we strongly condemn this terror act of the NPAs”, Barandon concluded.