Philippine Army patrol in Davao del Norte ambushed, 3 rifles seized by NPA

Spokesperson, Armando Dumandan Command
NPA Southern Mindanao

Red fighters of the Armando Dumandan Command-Guerrilla Front 33 Operations Command of the New People's Army ambushed a patrol conducted by the 10th Infantry Division's 72nd Infantry Battalion in Brgy. El Salvador, New Corella, Davao del Norte yesterday.

Three high-powered rifles (1 M16 Armalite, 1 M14 rifle and 1 Garand rifle) were seized. Two paramilitary elements of the paramilitary Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were killed on the spot while two others were wounded, including the commander of the Philippine Army detachment in the same barangay. There were no casualties on our side.

The wounded detachment commander surrendered. He was given immediate first aid by the medical personnel of the ADC-NPA platoon after his men retreated after a brief armed engagement. This is in line with the NPA's policy of humane treatment towards enemy personnel already unable to give battle. Also, it is in performance of its obligations under Article 7, Part III of Protocol II of the Geneva Convention which provides for the giving of medical care and attention to wounded members of armed forces to the fullest extent practicable and with the least possible delay.

This tactical offensive against combatants of the regular and paramilitary forces is a legitimate military action by the people's army. It is an attack against the 72nd IB and CAFGU forces in Brgy. El Salvador who have figured in many incidents of violations of human rights in the area. These prevalent acts include, but are not limited to, mauling of civilians, extortion, serious threats and repression of farmers.

Enough of the 10th Infantry Division's empty talk about the discipline of their units and troops! That extrajudicial killings of unarmed and legal activists from almost all sectors is a national centerpiece program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines explains why human rights violations of these sort are common practice. The peasants and (indigenous) Lumads in the countryside know for a fact and from direct experience how fascism is inherent in a counterrevolutionary army serving the interests of the elite ruling classes and their imperialist master.