Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels raided an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) community development center in Surigao del Sur Friday, killing five soldiers.
AFP public affairs office (PAO) head Col. Arnulfo Burgos said while AFP continued to adhere and observe the Suspension of Offensive Military Operations declared by the AFP Commander in Chief and President Benigno Aquino III, the communist rebels raided the outpost at Barangay Mabuhay, Tandag, Surigao del Sur.
Burgos said the AFP was saddened that after the declaration of suspension of offensive military operations against the NPA, the rebel group took advantage of the situation and attacked the soldiers conducting community development projects in Surigao del Sur.
Reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo said at 5 a.m. Friday, an unidentified number of NPA bandits attacked the Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) team of the Bravo Company, 36th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division resulting in the death of five enlisted personnel and the wounding of two others.
For the past two and a half months, COPD members have been undertaking dialogues and community development projects where they were supposed to undergo construction of a water facility in coordination with local government units in the area.
The AFP was one with the peace loving Filipinos in condemning the treacherous and barbaric act of the New People’s Army in their continuous violation of human rights and the International Humanitarian Law.
The AFP also extended messages of condolences to the families and loved ones left behind by five of AFP’s brave soldiers in the frontlines.