Soldier dies in Zamboanga del Sur ambush

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/06 July) – Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels killed a soldier in an ambush Friday in the town of Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur, military reports disclosed.

Killed was Corporal (Cpl.) Danilo Saavedra. With him was Private First Class (PFC) Rommel Taneo, who escaped unscathed in the ambush that took place 8 a.m. Friday in Barangay Magting.

Both belong to Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion’s Peace and Development Team (PDT).

The PDT personnel are tasked to undertake developmental projects funded by the government in critical areas of the country.

Capt. Jefferson Somera, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, said the two were aboard a motorcycle driven by Taneo on the way to the headquarters of the 53IB in Barangay Datagan from Barangay Magting when they were ambushed by the suspected NPA rebels.

Taneo, who was lucky to be unscathed, jumped off the motorcycle and engaged the NPA rebels in a firefight, Somera said.

He said the firefight lasted for about five minutes and the rebels fled upon sensing the arrival of reinforcement.

The NPA rebels reportedly belong to the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) operating in Zamboanga del Sur.