Relief convoy ambushed in Surigao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/15 February) — Suspected New People’s Army rebels fired on Army soldiers escorting a relief mission of TV network ABS-CBN in San Francisco town in Surigao del Norte Tuesday night, 4th Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez said.

Martinez said the rebels fired five shots at the soldiers aboard a military truck in Sitio Huwat Baboy, Barangay Linongganan at around 8:30 pm Tuesday.

He said the truck led the five-vehicle convoy.

“The rebels fired from 75 meters on a high ground and the KM450 blast protection plate was hit by two bullets,” he said.

Martinez said nobody was hurt among the soldiers and the ABS-CBN crew.

But Ka Oto of the NPA Northeastern Mindanao, speaking over Radyo Bombo Butuan denied it was their group that ambushed the relief convoy.

Earlier, the NPA in Surigao del Norte declared it will observe a ceasefire in deference to the 6.7-magnitude earthquake last February 10 that hit the province and caused damage to several homes and infrastructures.

In her post on Facebook, ABS-CBN reporter Chiara Zambrano said the van of their “Operation Sagip” developed developed engine trouble and lagged several hundred meters behind the convoy.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” she said.

She said the TV network was bringing relief goods to Malimono town, Surigao del Norte. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)