MANILA – The New People’s Army (NPA) committed another “cowardly act” when it ambushed Army soldiers after a gift-giving activity in Quezon on June 5.
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Calabarzon strongly condemned the incident, which killed one and injured another.
“Ang pagkamatay ng isa at pagkakaroon ng isa rin sugatan ay dagok sa nagkaka-isang mga sangay ng gobyerno para maipaabot ang angkop na tulong sa mga kapatid nating mga katutubo sa Lalawigan ng Quezon (The death of one and wounding of another one was a blow to a united government effort to extend appropriate assistance to our indigenous brothers and sisters in the province of Quezon),” the NCIP statement on Thursday read.
More than the material help, the military brought with them moral support for the community as part of government efforts amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCIP said.
“Subalit, sa ngalan ng terorismo at maling idolohiya, pilit na hinaharang ang kapayapaan at kaunlaran sa pamamagitan ng dahas (However, in the name of terrorism and false ideology, peace and development are being blocked through violence),” the statement read.
The 85th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army was ambushed in Barangay Batabat Sur, Buenavista town before noon Saturday on their way back to camp.
The soldiers came from a joint gift-giving activity for the Aeta community with the Buenavista police and village officials.
Romar Gono, 22, an auxiliary member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, was killed.
The NCIP said there is no space for such barbaric acts, especially in indigenous knowledge, systems, and methods.
Lt. Col. Emmanuel Cabahug, the 85th IB commander, earlier said the ambush was another proof that communist terrorist groups burden the society.
He assured that the Army will continue to fulfill its mandate of protecting and safeguarding citizens while paying tribute to Gono, whom he called a hero. (PNA)