Three soldiers were killed in the latest improvised landmine attack allegedly perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Guinobatan, Paquibato District here at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Major Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, commander of the 10th Civil-Military Operations Battalion, declined to identify the victims who were members of the 69th Infantry Battalion manning a patrol base in the area, pending the relay of information to their respective families.
He said the victims left their detachment to conduct community relations activities in the barangay when hit by the explosion of an improvised landmine 400 meters away from their detachment, killing them instantly.
“Another three families are orphaned as their head offered the supreme sacrifice,” Obligado said.
He said the Guinobatan detachment has been the subject of protests and propaganda activities by progressive organizations in recent months.
Lt. Colonel Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division deplored the attack calling it a patent violation of the rules of engagement by the rebels whose principals were signatories to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIL).
He said the agreement clearly affords protection for all Filipinos against improvised landmines, regardless of circumstances.
Colonel Leopoldo Galon, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) said choppers of the Tactical Operations Group 11 had been dispatched in the area to provide air support to the soldiers.