41st IB intensifies clearing operations
BAGUIO CITY (Mar. 29) — Seven army troopers of the 50th Infantry Brigade were reportedly killed while two were wounded in two separate clashes between the 50th IB and the Abra NPA command said Diego Wadagan of the Agustin Begnalen Command (ABC), the NPA command in Abra, in a statement sent to media yesterday.
The clashes occurred in separate areas in Tubo of the said province on March 21 where five army troopers of the 50th IB were killed while two troopers of the same IB were killed and another wounded in a clash on March 25, Wadagan said. No casualties were reported on the ABC side despite the bomb dropped by the said troop on March 24.
Meanwhile in a separate report, the 41st IB under Lt. Col. Raul Bautista based in Barangay Tagodtod, Lagangilang of Abra intensified its clearing operations in the alleged rebel-infested areas of Abra.
Like in previous operations, the said IB allegedly brought social services through the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Antonio Valera, the medical students of Bangued’s Pinnacle Health Care College, Inc. (PHAVI), and the dental team of the 503rd IB.
Abra Congresswoman Cecile Luna is said to have supported the services claiming that the army today is far more professional than in the past.
Wadagan claimed however that the 41st IB is maintaining its presence in the communities around Capcapo, the site of a mining project by the Pacific-Olympus, Abra Mining Industrial Corporation and Jabel Corp., despite the people’s opposition against large-scale mining project.
“Clearly, AFP offensives in Abra are aimed at forcing the implementation of large-scale mining operations. The people’s oppressors, exploiters and looters of the people’s coffers never learn from history: the people of Abra, Tinggians and Ilocanos alike, will unite and defend their rich natural resources and will live up to the tradition of their valiant and successful opposition against the Cellophil Resources Corporation (CRC),” the statement said. # Via Nordis with reports from Maritess Benas/PIA-Abra