62IB commander: Insurgents detonated an IED
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least four soldiers were wounded following an ambush by New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents last Tuesday night in the mountainous area of Barangay Luz in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Philippine Army 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) commander, Lt. Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, said elements of the 94th Infantry Battalion (94IB), led by 2nd Lt. Niel Christian Cureg, were aboard a military vehicle and traversing a road between the said locality and Isabela, Negros Occidental when rebels detonated an improvised explosive device (IED).
After the explosion, the troop convoy came under fire from at least five NPA insurgents. Cureg immediately ordered his men to take up defensive positions and fought back. The gun battle lasted for at least 10 minutes until government forces managed to gain the upperhand and forced the rebels to flee towards Barangay Banog-banog, Isabela.
The 94IB commander and three other soldiers were immediately evacuated for medical treatment. All four are reported to be in stable condition.
Reinforcements also confirmed spotting bloodstains in the area where the NPA rebels took position during the ambush and believe one or more of them may have been killed or wounded.
In response to the use of an IED, Dacoscos slammed the rebels for utilizing the explosive devices, calling it a violation of the Ottawa Treaty and Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. He also believes the ambush may have been a “revenge attack” after two NPA rebels were killed in an encounter last week.
The 62IB, along with other military and police units in the area, are now conducting hot-pursuit operations against the rebels involved in the ambush.
Meanwhile, NPA spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua confirmed an ambush took place. However, he insisted they did not suffer casualties and claimed to have killed two soldiers./DGB, WDJ