Cafgu slain in Arakan ambush

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/05 December) — A member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) was killed while his companion was badly hurt when they were attacked by suspected communist guerillas along the highway in Arakan, North Cotabato, around 3 p.m. Sunday, reports from the military said.

Lt. Manuel Gatus, chief of the civil-military operations of the 57th Infantry Battalion, identified the slain Cafgu as Jerry Mendoza who was hit in different parts of the body.

The wounded militiaman was identified as Rogelio Herbilla, who sustained several gunshot wounds, and was rushed to a hospital in this city.

Gatus said the victims were on their way back to their detachment in Barangay Salansang, Arakan onboard a Kawasaki motorcycle when the attack occurred.

He said three men aboard a motorcycle fired at the militiamen along Santo Nino Road in Barangay Santo Nino, also in Arakan.

Gatus said the Cafgu detachment in Salansang is manned by the 10th Special Forces Company led by Captain Mark Espiritu, which is under the operational control of the 57th IB.

The victims had just attended a burial of a relative in a nearby village when the attack happened, reports said.

Gatus, in an interview, condemned the ambush saying the victims were unarmed at the time.

He called the attack a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) between the government and the National Democratic Front.

The ambush in Arakan came two hours after soldiers raided a purported rebel camp in Makilala, North Cotabato resulting in the death of three alleged NPA members and recovery of four high-powered firearms. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)