DARAGA, Albay – Two soldiers were wounded while defending a security outpost that was attacked by heavily-armed NPA rebels in Barangay Alobo here at about 9:35 p.m. last night (May 18).
Col Arthur P Ang, the Commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade based here, said that around eight NPA rebels rained bullets on the 12-man Army detachment which was providing security at the construction site of an international airport located in this town.
“Our soldiers were able to maneuver and repulse the rebels in the 10 minute firefight which ensued. However, another small band of rebels were able to torch down some of the construction equipment which were located several hundred meters away from the soldiers' harboring area,” said Ang.
Two soldiers identified as Pfc Gapayao and Pfc Cornal of 2IB were wounded during the attack. They are now in stable condition at a local hospital in Legaspi City.
“Without our soldiers, all equipment and facilities could have been burned,” added Ang who have directed a prompt pursuit operations against the rebels.
The rebels were able to set some equipment ablaze before disappearing in the darkness.
The construction equipment are owned by Sunwest Corporation which had been victimized by NPA attacks in the past years for its refusal to pay extortion money demanded by the bandits..
In 2009, Army soldiers also foiled the NPAs attempt to burn heavy equipment used in constructing the hydroelectric plant in San Miguel, Catanduanes.
Ang has directed Lt Col Audrey Pasia of the 2nd Infantry Battalion to pursue the rebels and beef up the security forces manning the construction site.
“This is a desperate move by the NPA rebels because Sunwest Corporation will never concede to their extortion demands,” he said.
Major General Josue S Gaverza Jr., Commander of the 9th Infantry Division' personally checked the damage caused by the bandits.
He met some local officials and the private contractors to coordinate the resumption of the construction jobs.
An officer of Sunwest Corporation has pledged to replace the damaged equipment so that the project can be completed in the soonest time as possible.