2 killed, 1 hurt in Davao Sur clash

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 April) — Two persons were killed and another one was wounded in a clash between soldiers and suspected New People’s Army rebels on Tuesday morning in Davao del Sur.

The encounter occurred in Sitio Tubison, Brgy. Astorga in Sta. Cruz town.

It came a day after the NPA Guerrilla Front 54 ambushed members of the 84th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Colorado, Brgy. Sibulan in Toril, Davao City.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, Capt. Rhyan B. Batchar, chief of 10th Infantry Division’s Public Affairs Office said the fatalities were a soldier and a civilian whose names were withheld pending notification of their families.

He said the firefight on Tuesday was between the 1002nd Infantry Brigade and NPA Guerrilla Front 51 under alias Jasmin, and lasted for about an hour.

He said MGen Rafael C. Valencia, commander of the 10th Infantry Division, has ordered a pursuit operation while police and military checkpoints have been set up to prevent the suspects from fleeing the area.

“We wish to further inform the public that the situation in Brgy .Astorga is manageable and under control by government forces and agencies. The different agencies of government are closely working together to address and mitigate the effects of this incident on the people. We are asking for the understanding and cooperation of the community affected by the armed encounter,” he said.

Last Monday, the NPA released five police officers in Davao City who were held as captives since April 16.

Chief Insp. Leonardo V. Tarongoy, the commander of Paquibato police station, PO3 Rosenie Cabuenas, PO3 Rudolf Pacete, PO3 Abdul Azis A. Ali Jr. and PO2 Neil C. Arellano were released in Purok 1 Brgy. Lumiad in Paquibato.

They were heading toward Brgy. Salapawan to attend to a civilian who was injured in a clash between the military and NPA on April 16 when they were flagged down in Brgy. Mapula.

The NPAs said they thought the police officers went there to reinforce the soldiers. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)