Preg­nant woman hurt in 8IB-NPA en­counter

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By Al­wen Salir­ing

A preg­nant woman, be­lieved to be a mem­ber of the New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA), was re­port­edly wounded in a clash with gov­ern­ment sol­diers in Im­pa­sug-ong, Bukid­non, over the week­end.

The mil­i­tary iden­ti­fied the wounded NPA rebel as Susan Guaynon, 22, who is five-month preg­nant.

Troops un­der the 8th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion (8IB) en­coun­tered some 40 NPA com­bat­ants be­long­ing to the Head­quar­ters Force NEO Com­paq of North Cen­tral Min­danao Re­gional Com­mit­tee (NMCRC) around 2:00 p.m., Satur­day, April 14, in a forested area near Sitio Ulayanon, Barangay Kal­abugao, Im­pa­sug-ong town.

The mil­i­tary said Guaynon was slightly wounded on the fore­head and was aban­doned by her com­rades af­ter the 20- minute fire­fight. No ca­su­al­ties on the side

of the gov­ern­ment troops while the mil­i­tary be­lieved that more of their en­e­mies in­curred in­juries as in­di­cated by the blood stains seen along their with­drawal routes.

Seized at the bat­tle site were sev­eral high-pow­ered guns such as ri­fles in dif­fer­ent cal­ibers, air gun, and 30 back­packs filled with sub­ver­sive doc­u­ments and per­sonal be­long­ings.

On the other hand, the troops have ap­plied first aid and at­tended med­i­cal needs to the preg­nant NPA mem­ber, who is now in sta­ble con­di­tion.

“We will in­form the di­rect fam­ily of Susan and will see to it that she re­ceives the med­i­cal treat­ment needed in co­or­di­na­tion with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment of Im­pa­sug­ong and the prov­ince of Bukid­non. It is to show that the gov­ern­ment re­spects Hu­man Rights and In­ter­na­tional Hu­man­i­tar­ian Law,” said Lieu­tenant Colonel Ron­ald Il­lana, Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer of 8th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion.

In a state­ment, the 403rd In­fantry Brigade said it con­tin­ues the re­lent­less Fo­cused Mil­i­tary Op­er­a­tions in its area of re­spon­si­bil­ity in re­sponse to the re­peated re­ports of threat and ex­tor­tion ac­tiv­i­ties of the NPA from the lo­cal res­i­dents in the com­mu­ni­ties.

“It is shame­ful that NPA ter­ror­ists and lead­ers keep on re­cruit­ing mem­bers with sweet and promis­ing words, yet they fail to look into the wel­fare of their own mem­bers - leav­ing a wounded and preg­nant woman in the moun­tains af­ter the clash with 8IB troops. They should be the one look­ing af­ter her es­pe­cially that she is preg­nant and she needs monthly check-up,” 403IB com­man­der Bri­gadier Gen­eral Eric Vi­noya said.

The mil­i­tary said the Head­quar­ters Force NEO Com­paq is the se­cu­rity in-charge of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the NCMRC.

The mil­i­tary also claimed that the said group was re­spon­si­ble for the killing of for­mer Im­pa­sug-ong town mayor Mario Okin­lay last July 2, 2014 and the mur­der of three un­armed 8IB sol­diers last Fe­bru­ary 1, 2017 in Malay­balay City, Bukid­non, the rea­son why Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte ter­mi­nated the gov­ern­ment’s uni­lat­eral cease­fire dec­la­ra­tion.

“The 4th In­fantry Di­vi­sion sup­ports our Com­man­der-in-Chief in the re­sump­tion of peace talks. Mean­while, sol­diers con­tinue its man­date of se­cur­ing the Filipino peo­ple from in­tim­i­da­tion and threat brought by NPA ter­ror­ists in the hin­ter­lands. I call on the lead­er­ship of CPP-NPA ter­ror­ists to show sin­cer­ity this time on the Pres­i­dent’s goal to achieve a peace­ful na­tion. You have been call­ing for the re­sump­tion of peace talks, but al­ways failed to show sin­cer­ity,” fur­ther said Ma­jor Gen­eral Ron­ald Vil­lanueva, Com­man­der of Army’s 4th In­fantry Di­vi­sion.

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