CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, (PNA) — A soldier and a civilian were wounded in a fresh attack launched by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) Tuesday night at a camp in San Jorge, Samar.
Capt. Isagani Viernes, Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division spokesman, said that 10 rebels surprisingly attacked the headquarters of 43rd Infantry Battalion in Blanca Aurora village in San Jorge, Samar. The fire fight lasted for 25 minutes.
The attack occurred on the same day when an undetermined number of rebels ambushed a military truck used for post-Nona response, killing a soldier and wounded three others in Las Navas, Northern Samar.
The two incidents came hours before the implementation of a 12-day unilateral ceasefire approved by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. The truce took effect 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2015 until 11:59 p.m. on January 3, 2016.
“This harassment on our military camp just several hours before their self-declared ceasefire, is a clear indication that the NPA is not all serious about their respect to the spirit of Christmas and peace,” Viernes said.
Despite the action of NPA members, Viernes said that as ordered from top officials, all military installation in the region will only be on defensive mode in compliance to ceasefire.
“We will not conduct any military operation against them in respect to the ceasefire. The only military operation that we will do here is the humanitarian works for typhoon Nona victims,” Viernes added.
The suspension of military operation will allow soldiers to spend Christmas and New Year holidays with their families and love ones.
Along with other government agencies, military personnel in the region are in the forefront of giving aide to typhoon Nona victims in Samar provinces.
Viernes reminded soldiers to be on alert even if they are only involved in humanitarian works since insurgents are taking advantage of disaster response operation.
On Dec. 18, a convoy of military trucks were attacked in Pinabacdao, Samar after the soldiers delivered of relief goods for typhoon victim in Eastern Samar. Two soldiers were hurt during the ambush.
“We know that rebels traditionally mark their anniversary with atrocities, but we hope that they will respect the ceasefire,” Viernes added.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA will celebrate its 47th founding anniversary on Dec. 26. (PNA)