11 soldiers dead in clash with NPAs

March 7, 2010 1:24 am 

MANILA, March 6 – Eleven government soldiers, including a young officer, died and seven other troops were injured in a clash with communist rebels in the outskirts of Mansalay town in Oriental Mindoro on Saturday dawn, the military said.

Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato, spokesman of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said a platoon from the 23rd Division Reconnaissance Company were on a patrol in the village of Panaytayan around 5:30 a.m. when they caught up with about 60 rebels.

Quoting reports from the field, Detoyato said the two sides clashed for at least three hours until the rebels withdrew. He said only four of the soldiers, who figured in the initial fighting, survived unscathed.

Detoyato said a lieutenant was among the 11 dead. He withheld the identity of the slain officer, pending the notification of his kin.

“The soldiers held their ground for three hours until government reinforcements arrived. This arrival of the reinforcements forced the rebels to withdraw with undetermined number of casualties,” he said.

Detoyato said the soldiers were “surprised” as they stumbled upon the encamped rebels. “They entered into the rebel encampment. The two sides were surprised. The two sides exchanged fires a few meters apart," the official also said.

“Although in the disadvantage (position) compared to the well-emplaced terrorist encampment, (the) 23rd DRC troops fought it out literally to the last bullet," said Detoyato.

He said the troops conducted the operations as part of their mission to provide area security in view of the coming elections.

“The operation is part of our area security in line with the incoming start of the campaign period for the local officials. The security patrols and relocation of troops is being implemented to ensure freedom of movement of the candidates when the campaign starts,” he said.

Detoyato also said that the operation was part the military effort to ensure that the candidates would be safe from harassments of the rebels who are demanding permit to campaign and permit to win fees from candidates.

“This is also in line with our call for the candidates not to give in to PTC/PTW demands of the local NPA insurgents in Mindoro. The unfortunate incident this morning will all the more make us pour in more efforts for a credible honest election,” added Detoyato.

Detoyato said the military is sympathizing with the families of the fallen soldiers “who offered the supreme sacrifice in order to deliver our fellow Filipinos our mandate of protecting their votes.” (PNA)



One Response to “11 soldiers dead in clash with NPAs”

  1. jona on March 10th, 2010 8:50 pm

    can i have the complete address one of the army in calamba laguna who was ambushed in mansalay..rizaldy maglinao