MILF rebels attack two Cotabato villages; kill 1, wound 6 others

May 4, 2009 1:41 am 

KIDAPAWAN CITY, May 3 -– A B’laan native was killed and six others, three of them village guards, were wounded when some 20 suspected Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels attacked two farming villages in Tulunan, North Cotabato, Sunday morning.

The banana plantation of the AMS Corp. is located in these villages, reports said.

Chief Insp. Sofronio Cornelio, Tulunan police chief, identified the fatality as Tano Kurada of Sitio Kong-Kling, Barangay Kanibong in Tulunan.

Three of the wounded were members of the Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO), who also worked as security guards of the AMS banana plantation in Sitio Kong-Kling in Barangay Kanibong. They were identified as Richard Dellia, 49; Tito Arguelles; and Jean Rey Amar.

The wounded civilians were Jane Tongkwa, 29, who was six months pregnant; Albert Insisco, both residents of Sitio Kong-Kling, Barangay Kanibong; and Mary Jean Langote, 9, of Barangay Maybula, also in Tulunan, North Cotabato.

Dellia said he heard gunshots and explosions around 8 a.m., today. He, together with other CVOs, rushed to the area to check when attacked by the MILF rebels along the road.

Two of his companions, Arguelles and Amar, were held hostage for few hours and later shot by the MILF rebels. The victims, both wounded on their legs, were abandoned along the road.

At least 80 houses, mostly owned by the B’laan natives, were torched by the fleeing MILF rebels, according to acting Tulunan vice-mayor Michelle Amar.

More than a hundred families coming from Barangays Kanibong and Maybula and nearby villages have evacuated to safer grounds to prevent being hit by cross fires.

The Municipal Social Welfare and Development in Tulunan, led by social welfare officer Jenalyn Delasan distributed food and clothing items to affected villagers. The food relief started around 230 p.m., today.

Soldiers belonging to the 57th Infantry Battalion were immediately dispatched to the area to run after the attackers, according to acting vice-mayor Amar.

The 602nd Brigade of the 6th Infantry Division based in Carmen, North Cotabato also sent helicopter gunships and deployed additional men in villages under attack by the MILF. (PNA)

RMA/NYP/MALU CADELINA MANAR/rsm

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