Ifugao solon condemns attack on military by NPA rebels

April 26, 2012 9:21 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, April 26 — The lone representative of Ifugao Province condemned on Thursday the latest attack by communist insurgents in the area that killed 11 soldiers, including an Army captain and two civilians.

"Yesterday was a sad day for justice and peace in our country. I strongly condemn the treacherous and unprovoked attack by elements of the National Democratic Front-New Peoples Army (NDF-NPA) against the 86th Infantry Battalion as the latter was ferrying civilians in Barangay Gumhang-Binablayan, Tinoc, Ifugao," said Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat in a statement.

"As a brother of someone who died in the line of duty, I commiserate with and send my condolences to the 86th Infantry Battalion and the families of our brave soldiers who died in that devious attack. The treachery is magnified by the fact that nowhere in the world is an attack against civilians recognized as a legitimate military strike. The attack only emphasizes that the NPA’s conflict against the government has lost its essence and reason," he said.

The soldiers who were killed in the ambush that happened on Wednesday include Capt. Seigfred B. Kafilas, S/Sgt. Domingo G. Torres, Corporal Esmael M. Lazaro, Privates First Class Jojo B. Dawaton, Kennedy P. Ragutero, Crismar M. David and Villamor E. Sannadan Jr., Privates June D. Villoria, Ronel L. Salud, Ronald Q. Lorenzo, and Ferdinand A. Nalliw.

"The Ifugao people and the country will forever be grateful for your dedicated service," said Baguilat.

The lawmaker said he is also praying for the speedy recovery of Lieutenant Nabatias, Private First Class Lopez, and civilian Jefferson dela Cruz, who were all injured in the attack.

He said the 86th Infantry Battalion has been in Ifugao to help keep its people safe and secure. It has always been ready to support and help achieve the Ifugao people’s goal of creating a just and free society.

"This same group of selfless servants had helped us in relief operations during our times of crisis. And now, they have made the ultimate sacrifice just to make sure that peace prevails in the region. We should never forget that these people are heroes," he said.

Baguilat said the latest incident has negated the gains from government projects such as the Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Program (CHARMP) and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

"All this violence has done is bring pain and suffering to everyone. Let us shun calls for destabilization and cooperate towards a united drive for peace and prosperity for our province and country," he said.

He also urged everyone to join him in denouncing the violence brought about by the conflict between the NDF-NPA and government forces in Tinoc and in neighboring Asipulo.

"Let us join in prayer that justice may be done for the wounded and the fallen, and that such senseless violence be ended," he said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) earlier also condemned the attack on government forces by communist rebels.

"We condemn in the strongest term the treacherous attack on our troops who were just doing their job in securing and serving the people," said Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., AFP spokesman.

"We will exhaust all measures to bring the perpetrators before the bar of justice," he added. (PNA)



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