NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Eastern Mindanao Command laments the unprovoked atrocities being perpetrated by the New People’s Army after they have announced the termination of their own unilateral ceasefire on February 1, 2017.
In the morning of February 2, 2017 about 10 NPAs abducted two soldiers from the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Purok 7, Brgy Telafas, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.
The two unarmed soldiers were on board a motorcycle going towards Makilala, North Cotabato when they were flagged down by the armed lawless elements and brought to an unknown place. The incident prompted the LGU of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat to convene its own Crisis Management Committee. The whereabouts of the abducted soldiers are still not known as of press time.
In a separate incident, another group, believed to be NPAs, abducted three personnel of 8IB, Philippine Army in the afternoon of February 1, 2017 in Brgy Manalog, Malaybalay City. The three soldiers were on their way to Malaybalay City to withdraw their subsistence allowance when they were forcibly accosted by the NPAs. The three soldiers were also unarmed and in their civilian attire when they were taken.
At about 5 PM on the same day, the lifeless bodies of the three soldiers were found along the road at vicinity Sitio Kalib, Brgy Kibalabag of the same city. They were positively identified by the Philippine Army and PNP elements who proceeded to the scene of the crime and investigated the incident.
Lt Gen Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, AFP, Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command expressed his sentiments when he said, “While we grieve for the untimely demise of our soldiers, we condemn this inhuman act in its highest form at the same time. These attacks on unarmed soldiers is a manifestation of the NPA’s wanton disregard for the ongoing peace talks.”
Troops under the Eastern Mindanao Command were earlier ordered to be on active defense mode due to the series of NPA atrocities.