A civilian farmer was injured on March 21, 2022, after he accidentally triggered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) communist terrorist group (CTG) in Maragusan, Davao de Oro.
Anthony Pelicelda, 42 years old, was cultivating and harvesting ginger in Purok-8, Barangay Paloc, Maragusan, Davao de Oro, when unknowingly triggered the IED at around 1:00 pm. The explosion wounded Pelicelda’s face and lower body parts. He was transported to the nearest hospital.
The Philippine Army’s 25th Infantry “FIREBALL” Battalion (25IB) immediately conducted clearing operations at the area to search for more IEDs planted by the CTG.
A resident of Purok-8, Barangay Paloc, revealed the location of the explosion was a former NPA encampment that was set up while the 25IB pursued the CTG in relentless focused military operations in the area.
Since September 2021, the 1001st Infantry “PAG-ASA” Brigade (1001Bde) has conducted continuous combat operations against the NPA CTGs. The 1001Bde recorded several armed engagements in Pantukan, Mabini, Maco, Maragusan, and New Bataan, all of Davao de Oro.
The recent armed engagement between the government troops against the the Regional Headquarters of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (RHQ-SMRC), led by Eric Jun Casilao alias “Wally” or “Elian,” and the Regional Operations Command, SMRC (ROC-SMRC) led by Leo Lacumbo alias “Ole” in the early morning of February 24, 2022, at Purok-8, Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Davao de Oro that resulted with five members of the CTGs killed, and the recovery of one M653 rifle, one caliber 45 pistol, a hand grenade, and one anti-personnel mine attests that the CTGs still blatantly commit these terroristic acts.
“This proves that these NPA armed groups will still use more IEDs and other harmful devices to sow fear to the communities while advancing their self-serving political agenda. The use of landmines and other IEDs by the CPP-NPA should be condemned for it has already taken countless innocent lives, including Filipino Footballer Kieth Absalon and his cousin in Masbate City. This incident is a serious matter that needs the attention of the whole country,” said Lt. Col. Michael T. Aquino, 25IB Commanding Officer.
“Your government troops will pursue them without any letup, and we will deliberately hit them hard in order to end their deception and atrocities that have already killed countless Filipino youth and caused misery to parents,” Lt. Col. Aquino said. — PR