At about 5 a.m., six soldiers under the 20th IB, on board a KM450 vehicle, were heading to communities devastated by typhoon “Nona” to transport repair equipment, including hammers, steel tubes, and other materials used for HADR operations when they were ambushed by an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Bukid, Las Navas, Northern Samar.
Our troops fought back, resulting in a firefight which lasted for 15 minutes. The firefight killed one of our soldiers and wounded three others. No civilians were hurt during the incident.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) condemns this dastardly act which is a clear disrespect of the rights of typhoon victims to receive assistance from our government. This shows that they are insensitive to the plight of the victims of typhoon.
This attack on our soldiers conducting HADR, just several hours before the NPA’s self-declared ceasefire takes effect this midnight, is a clear indication that they are not at all serious about their claims of respect for the spirit of Christmas and efforts toward attainment of peace.
On the part of the AFP, we will strictly observe the unilateral suspension of military operation (SOMO) declared by His Excellency President Benigno Aquino III which will take effect beginning 12:01 a.m. 23 December 2015 and will end 11:59 p.m. of 03 January 2016.
We assure the public that this incident will not hamper our ongoing HADR operations for the storm victims.