At least six soldiers were killed and 20 others were wounded when the New People’s Army (NPA) detonated six explosives late Monday afternoon and fought with government troopers in a remote Pinanag-an village in Borongan City, Eastern Samar.
The three platoons of soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 14th Infantry Battalion suffered heavy casualties after the simultaneous explosions followed by a 30-minute gun battle with 50 NPA fighters around 5 p.m. on Monday, according to initial reports reaching the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office here.
Killed were Sgt. Rex Jadulco, Cpl. Ronald Go, Cpl. Limar Banug, Pfc. Kent Loyd Agullo, Pvt. Charlie Del Rosario, and Pfc. Junmar Buranday.
A communist terrorist was also killed during the armed encounter.
The 20 wounded soldiers were airlifted to Camp Lukban station hospital in Catbalogan City in Samar inside the headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division.
Pinanag-an village is about 22 kilometers upland from Borongan City. The site is very remote with an air distance of 12 kilometers from upland Canloterio village, the nearest point accessible to vehicles.
The military is still conducting clearing and retrieval operations as of Tuesday morning.
The military has repeatedly condemned the NPA for using landmines in their attacks, showing disrespect to basic human rights. The terrorist attack also disregards the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. PNA.GOV.PH