Camp Melchor F dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela – In a desperate move to stop peace and developments in some parts of Ilocos Region, an undetermined number of NPA remnants fired at the Philippine Army troops in Barangay Malideg, Quirino, Ilocos Sur 4 a.m May 2, 2014.
“The army troops belong to the Peace and Development Teams of the 50th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army who were on their way back to their base after attending a meeting with local officials in Abra the day before,” said Ltc Richard N. Sibayan, commanding officer, 50th Infantry Battalion,5ID,PA.
Initial report states that one fatality army trooper and six army troopers were wounded as a result of the shooting. The names of the victims could not be released as of this time pending notification to the families of the victims.
According to Sibayan, the troops went to Abra the day before to assist some personnel of other government agencies to coordinate with the local government officials in Abra for the implementation of the improvement of the Quirino-Bolingon road projects and the repair of the bridge along the said road.
“When an undetermined number of NPA remnants fired upon the soldiers who were aboard a KM450 truck vehicle, the soldiers gallantry returned fire and firefight ensued which lasted until 6 a.m.,” said Sibayan.
Reinforcement troops and medical teams of the said unit went immediately to the place of incident to provide assistance to the soldiers. The lone fatality soldier and the six wounded troopers were immediately evacuated to the nearest hospital in Quirino town for medical treatment. Hot pursuit operations are being conducted by the said army unit.
According to Sibayan, he believes that the NPA remnants also suffered an undetermined number of casualties because of the bloodstains and recovered belongings of the NPAs.
“This unfortunate incident only shows that the NPA remnants in the area are out there to impede the local government’s vision of further developments for the benefit and the common good of the populace not only in the municipalities of Cervantes and Quirino but also in the whole province of Ilocos Sur and other surrounding areas,” added Sibayan.
Press Release by the 5ID, PA