Lieutenant Colonel Audrey Pasia, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, said that five bandits fired their weapons as militiamen guarding the heavy equipment passed by in a populated village at around 8 pm, December 12.
“A nine-man squad of my soldiers led by Corporal Ariston Capellan was securing the construction equipment working on the road project at Sitio Agay, Brgy Caguiba, Camalig town. Disregarding the presence of civilians, the rebels tried to murder my soldiers while they were conducting security patrols in the periphery of the heavy equipment's location,” said Pasia.
“The soldiers did not return fire, but instead, rushed towards covered positions. They heard screams from people nearby who were caught in the line of fire from the rebels,” he added.
The bandits fled upon noticing the arrival of more soldiers.
The attack resulted to the death of one militiaman, CAA Jesus B Canuel and the wounding of CAA Gilbert B Santiago.
A resident of the village, Bryan Maravillas, 18, was also wounded in the thigh.
The cadaver of Canuel was brought to the Nuestra Señora de Salvacion Funeral Parlor in Guinobatan, Albay for autopsy and proper disposition.
Santiago, on the other hand, was brought to a local hospital in Legazpi City, Albay for medical treatment for his leg injury.
The local villagers have cried foul due to the recent attack which only manifests the NPA’s anti-development nature.
The soldiers have pledged to continuously man their mobile detachment which secures the infrastructure project.
“This is our commitment to the people in line of the IPSP Bayanihan. Meanwhile, we will lodge a complaint before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for the blatant violation of human rights committed by the rebels in this particular incident,” said Pasia.
It can be noted that the provisions of human rights law and International Humanitarian Law strictly prohibits the harming of soldiers who are not on combat duties as well as launching attacks on non-military targets where civilians can be injured.
Pasia said that he will coordinate with Brgy Captain Andrey Moratalla Mojeno for the complaint that will be filed before the CHR against the NPA bandits.