NPA attack on Army troops clear violation of truce deal: guv

<p> Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang (<em>PNA Fiie photo</em>)</p>

 Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang (PNA Fiie photo)

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Governor Nelson Dayanghirang on Sunday said the recent attack of New People’s Army (NPA) on Army soldiers in Baganga town here is a clear manifestation of their reputation as terrorists and anti-people amid the coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

"What they did was a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement. While the government is at the thick of implementing measures to combat COVID-19, they still manage to do such acts,” Dayanghirang said.

He added that the violent attack on of five NPA members who open fired at soldiers belonging to the 67th Infantry Battalion while conducting security patrol at Barangay Mahan-ub on April 11 is a lesson learned that the government must no longer talk or make arrangements with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA.

He said putting an end to the negotiations with communist terrorists has been the stand of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) that he chairs.

Regardless of what transpired, he said the government, especially the local government, will continue to ensure the welfare of the people of Davao Oriental.

“The government will not be stopped in its efforts to protect the people from these terrorists and even from the invisible enemy – the dreaded Covid-19,” he said.

The military troops were reportedly in the barangay to respond to residents’ reports that they were being forced by the armed communists to give them some of the relief goods given to them by the government.

A 10-minute firefight ensued between the soldiers led by 2nd Lieutenant Joseph de Leon and the NPA group There was no casualty on the government side while the NPA rebels scampered and managed to escape.

Earlier, an NPA member identified only as Ron Ron voluntarily surrendered and yielded his high-powered firearms to the military. He confirmed the presence of his comrades in the sitios Tagtigbai and Casunugan.  

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Louie Dema-ala, commanding officer of the Army’s 67 Infantry Battalion, urged everyone to work together in fighting Covid-19.

"We should all cooperate and give all our support to help end this pandemic. Rest assured that we will remain steadfast in fighting insurgency in the province while battling Covid-19," he added. (Davao Oriental PIO)