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Army condemns NPA attack that killed 2 soldiers in Albay

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- Two soldiers of the Philippine Army's 31st Infantry Battalion died in an attack perpetrated by suspected communist-terrorist group (CTG) members while buying supplies for a search and rescue mission in Albay province on Monday.

In a report on Tuesday, Capt. Frank Roldan, 9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief, identified the fatalities as Private John Paul C. Adalim and Private Mark June D. Esico who suffered severe bullet wounds in their bodies that caused their immediate death when shot at in a market in Barangay Cotmon, Camalig town.

"The CTG took advantage of the fact that the troops of the 31st Infantry Battalion were busy assisting in the search and rescue operation of the crashed Cessna aircraft in Albay after they ambushed two soldiers who were just buying supplies. It was learned that while the two soldiers were in the market, five armed men ambushed them and three of them indiscriminately shot the victims," Roldan said.

He said the grieving families of Esico and Adalim are seeking justice to be served.

Meanwhile, Cotmon Barangay Chairperson Dennise Misolania condemned the ambush and assured cooperation in the investigation of the incident.

Maj. Gen. Adonis Bajao, commander of the 9th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB), likewise expressed indignation over the attack which he considered as a desperate move because of the accomplishments of the 9ID in Bicol against insurgency.

“The terrorist groups are too desperate because of the ceaseless operation in the mountains by the Philippine Army which has further weakened their group. This is also a display of their cowardice and lack of respect for human rights by taking lives including the soldiers assigned to extend help and save the lives of our countrymen. In this event, on behalf of the JTFB, I extend my condolences to the families left behind by our heroic soldiers," Bajao said. (PNA)


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