49th IB chief relieved for Camarines Norte town attack

May 1, 2012 9:37 pm 

MANILA, May 1 — Major Gen. Josue Gaverza, the head of the Philippine Army's 9th Infantry Division, has ordered the immediate relief of the 49th Infantry Battalion commander whose Peace and Development Team was attacked by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Maot, Labo, Camarines Norte on Sunday afternoon, resulting in the killing of four soldiers and a civilian.

Stripped of his command due to the command responsibility principle was Lt. Col. Epimaco Macalisang.

"It's standard operating procedure to relieve ranking officers whose units are involved in a debacle. By that way, we can let some officers, who are more capable, get a chance at command," Gaverza said.

He also said that investigation is underway to determine whether there are lapses in security aspect.

Gaverza added that operatives from his unit will go back to the locality "to continue their PDT missions and assist civilians traumatized by this senseless violence."

A nine-man PDT under 1st Lt. Eric Estrevillo was conducting community work in Maot, Labo town when some 20 NPA rebels suddenly appeared and fired at the soldiers at around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Killed in the attack were Army Cpl. Amado Perillo, Pfc. Paulo Orticio, Pfc. Teodoro Ojeda and Pfc. Sonecio Potian, and a civilian identified as Francisco Ruales. (PNA) scs/PFN

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