The New People’s Army (NPA) in Quezon Province announced its ambush of government soldiers in Tagkawayan town last Friday, adding its military action belies government claims the area is now free of communist influence.
Apolonio Mendoza Command (AMC)-NPA Quezon spokesperson Cleo del Mundo said the firefight started at about 7 o’clock in the morning of September 1 and lasted for more than an hour.
“Five were killed among the military while four others were wounded. The enemies fled the fighting, enabling the Red Army to safely withdraw,” del Mundo said.
“The Red Fighters were able to take five high-caliber firearms,” he added.
The soldiers and their auxiliary forces were conducting patrol operarions when ambushed by the NPA.
Meanwhile, 85th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army (85th IBPA) commander Lt. Col. Joel Jonson said the five fatalities were elements of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
The names of the fatalities were not announced by the military.
Jonson did not mention if the wounded were soldiers or paramilitary.
He added that the incident is a big challenge to their declaration of “Stable Internal Peace and Security” in Tagkawayan and in the entire Quezon Province.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and Quezon governor Angelina Tan declared last June 15 that the province is free of NPA influence.
Del Mundo however said their successful ambush is proof that the NPA remains in Quezon due to the popular support of the people.
The spokesperson added that the ambush is their punishment of the 85th IBPA’s human rights violations against civilians who suffered tortures, harassments and killings.
Del Mundo said the NPA in the province has documented around 20,000 cases of rights violations under the Rodrigo Duterte government.
“We will not be defeated…because our revolution is just,” del Mundo added.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chief information officer Marco Valbuena lauded the AMC for its victory.
“The successful ambush in Quezon, following the recent tactical offensives in Negros and Masbate, clearly demonstrates the robust armed resistance being waged by the NPA against all-out state terrorism under the US-Marcos fascist regime,” Valbuena said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)