LEGAZPI CITY, 9-May-2013 (PNA) – A militiaman was killed and two soldiers were wounded when 20 suspected New People’s Army rebels attacked their group at around 4:15 a.m. Thursday in the remote village of Agao-ao in Ragay, Camarines Sur.
The victims were part of a group of seven soldiers and five members of the Citizens Auxiliary Forces Geographical Units (Cafgu) under the 49th Infantry Battalion (49IB) that were on election duty in the village.
Lt. Col. Michael Buhat, 49IB commanding officer, believed that the rebel side also suffered casualties as bloodstains were scattered at the enemies’ position and withdrawal route.
“The soldiers were dispatched to Barangay Agao-ao Elementary School to provide security for the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines that arrived in the area,” Buhat said.
The casualties were still in the area as of press time and combat medics were attending to the wounded.
Buhat said the two soldiers are now in stable condition.
“A Humvee field ambulance is on its way for casualty evacuation while the Philippine Air Force has been alerted for possible air evacuation if needed,” he said.
“At present, we are giving priority to the well-being of our wounded soldiers and to the bereaved family of the dead Cafgu,” he added.
Buhat did not identify the victims as their respective families have yet to be informed.
He said additional troops were sent in the area for pursuit and clearing operation.
Col. Richard Q Lagrana, commander of the 902nd Infantry Brigade, meanwhile said, “In the wake of the incident, we will continue to provide security to ensure that the people could freely and safely exercise their right to vote and deter the rebels from conducting atrocities as elections near. (PNA)