By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The Lejo Cawilan Command (LCC) of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the mountains of Kalinga claimed to have launched successful offensives against soldiers belonging to the 50th IB of the 5th Division of the Philippine Army.
In an emailed statement, Martin Montana spokesperson of the LCC said that three goverment soldiers were killed and two other wounded when they ambushed a squad of the 50th IB at round 10:00AM on January 18 at sitio Matayog, Barangay Ba-ay in Pinukpok town of Kalinga province. He said there were no casualties on the NPA side.
Montana added that earlier that day, they attacked soldiers who camped in civilian houses in Barangay Allaguia. He said the soldiers encamped in houses are using civilians as shields and are violating the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other international treaties.
CARHRIHL is the first of the four agenda in the peace negotiations between the government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that was signed into an agreement in 1998.
Montana also mentioned that on the same day, NPA guerillas of the Agustin Begnalen Command in Abra had an encounter with soldiers belonging to the 24th IB of the 7th Division in the forest between Pilar, Abra and Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. He said the NPAs were able to escape to safety while one government soldier was injured.
The Police Regional Office Cordillera received information from the 50th IB that government soldiers were battling NPA guerillas in Barangay Maling, Balbalan also in Kalinga on Janaury 23, at around 10:00AM. There were no follow up reports on the said encounter.
Montana said that NPA guerillas were able to successfully launch offensives against government troops and escape government army offensives against them. # nordis.net