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Alleged NPAs attack rescue team in Masbate

MANILA, Philippines - Alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) attacked soldiers in Masbate on Wednesday morning while on duty extending disaster and relief services.

One of the insurgents died, however, as the government soldiers retaliated, said Southern Luzon Command spokesperson Col. Generoso Bolina.

He said Disaster Rescue and Relief forces were sent to flood-prone areas in preparation for any disaster. At around 6 a.m. at Intusan in the town of Palawan, a firefight ensued.

Quoting 9th IB commander Lt. Col. Jun Pacatan, Bolina said: "I immediately sent a platoon to the area to assist the people but as my platoon was approaching the village, they were fired upon by the rebels."

The firefight lasted 18 minutes. Government soldiers recovered later the body of the insurgent, an M16 rifle, an M14 rifle, two landmines and other war materials.

Col. Felix Castro Jr., 903rd Brigade commander, has already directed the soldiers to stay in the area "for possible DRR operations amidst heavy rains."

"They did not wait (for the worse to come). There is already a weather alert so they went to the area, so that if something happens they can immediately render assistance,” Bolina said.

He asked the rebels to allow the soldiers to do their work in rendering assistance.

"They (rebels) should stop their attacks. We should join hands in rendering assistance to the people. Let us not fight each other at this time and help each other in assisting the people," he said.

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ABS-CBNnews.com | August 8, 2012 | Article Link

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