NPA ambushes soldiers, kills 2 civilians, including a minor, and injures another

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Army Troopers hunting terrorist NPAs in the outskirt of Brgy. Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar were ambushed on the afternoon of February 8, 2022.

Despite the visible presence of civilians, the communist NPA terrorists did not take any precautionary measures, indiscriminately firing their weapons and hitting civilians resulting in the death of two minors, a 12-year-old boy on the spot and another 13-year-old boy while being treated at the hospital. Another man was injured.

Col Perfecto Peñaredondo, 803rd Brigade Commander reported that he dispatched troops in response to a tipster’s information about the presence of a group of NPA in Brgy. Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar. While on their way to the objective, the troops were ambushed by NPA at a coconut farm in a remote area of Brgy. Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar. “On their way to the reported location of the armed NPA, nadaanan ng tropa yung mga civilians. Sinabihan ng tropa itong mga civilians na manatili sa likod nila dahil may info sila na may NPA sa unahan. Habang dahan dahan na lumalapit ang mga sundalo, pinaputukan na sila ng mga NPA. Naka-abang na pala ang kalaban sa high ground, bandang unahan. Nagawang dumapa ng mga sundalo, pero yung mga civilians na nasa likod nila, nagtakbuhan. Pinaputukan ng NPA yung mga civilians kaya tinamaan agad yung tatlo”, said Col Peñaredondo.

Seeing the civilians were hit, the soldiers shifted on protecting the civilians, while the NPA’s immediately fled. The soldiers opted to apply medical first aid to the wounded instead of pursuing the NPAs.

Another minor managed to escape unharmed and reported the incident to the barangay. This prompted the barangay folk to rush to the crime scene and help evacuate the injured civilians to the hospital, initially using motorcycles to reach the highway, then transferred to the municipal ambulance that brought them to the hospital in Catubig town.

The 12-year-old minor was declared dead on arrival at the Catubig Hospital, and the 13-year-old minor died the following morning while being treated at the Northern Samar hospital.

“Before he died, the 13-year-old boy was able to narrate to the barangay officials that they were hit by NPA gunfire. The 26-year-old survivor revealed that they were behind the soldiers when the NPAs opened fire prompting them to run away but unfortunately they were hit. Consistent with the narrative of the boy, he said the NPA deliberately fired at them”, Maj Gen Edgardo De Leon, Commander, 8ID said.

“Yung bala ng NPA papunta sa direksyon kung saan tumakbo ang mga bata kaya sila ang tinamaan. Nakapwesto ang NPA sa high ground kaya kitang kita nila na civilians ang tinatarget nila. Walang precaution na pinaputukan nila ang mga civilians. That is willfull killing of civilians!” De Leon emphasized .

The Municipal government of Catubig and the provincial government of Northern Samar responded quickly and provided assistance to the relatives of the deceased victims, as well as to the injured. Governor Edwin Ongchuan directed the provincial social welfare officer to assist the families of the victims. The Governor and the Mayor both condemned the communist NPA terrorists for their dastardly act of violence against their constituents. The LGUs vowed to file appropriate cases against the perpetrators and to seek indemnification from the National Democratic Front, the organization that has represented the NPA in negotiations with the government.

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