Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Monday, May 5, 2008

3 soldiers slain, many hurt in North Cotabato NPA ambush

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Three soldiers were killed while 18 others were wounded, a number of them in very critical condition, after New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas ambushed a military convoy on the boundary of President Roxas and Arakan towns in North Cotabato Monday morning.

Major Lyndon Paniza, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said the incident happened past 5 a.m. in Barangay (village) Ilustre, President Roxas.

He said the soldiers were heading down from Arakan Valley after a weeklong operation against the NPA when they were waylaid by the rebels belonging to Front Committee 3.

"There is a continuing military operation in the hinterlands of Arakan. The incident [ambush] happened while our troops [were] going back to barracks," Paniza said.

Earlier wire and radio reports said the soldiers were onboard two trucks that were struck by land mines detonated by the rebels.

A heavy firefight ensued between the soldiers and the rebels headed by one Commander Ibyong, said Paniza. He could not say if there were casualties among the rebels.

Paniza also said they were still verifying the actual number of casualties among his troops, adding there were only six soldiers wounded.

But Fe Mendoza, liaison officer of the Arakan Valley Hospital, said in a radio interview that there were 18 soldiers wounded.

"The three who were brought in Kidapawan were severely wounded. A couple of them were hit on their heads…they were in very critical condition," said Mendoza in a radio interview.

A dzMM radio report quoted Philippine National Police Director General Avelino Razon Jr. as saying 21 soldiers were injured in the ambush.

The NPA has a strong presence in the area.

Communist rebels withdrew from peace talks in 2004 after accusing the government of instigating their inclusion on US and European Union terrorist lists. (Reported By Jeffrey M. Tupas, INQ.net)

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