CAPIZ, Panay Island – The Jose Percival Estocada Jr. Command (JPEC) of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Panay on Friday said that the ambush yesterday afternoon of an NPA unit against military troops has claimed five army casualties.
In its Facebook account’s post, the JPEC said the ambush was launched around 4 in the afternoon of April 21, in Sitio Abang-abang of Acuña village in Tapaz, Capiz province (also a boundary between Calinog in Iloilo province and Tapaz) using a command-detonated explosive device.
The target, according to the command’s spokesperson Ka Jurie Guerrero, are the operating troops of the 61st Infantry Battalion under the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army that serves as security forces of the proposed two mega dams in the rivers of Jalaur and Pan-ay.
“The ambush area is near where drilling operations are conducted as part of the feasibility study of the Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project (PRBIDP) or Pan-ay mega dam,” said Guerrero.
Indigenous people’s Tumandok have long opposed the Jalaur and the Panay mega dams that will result to tribe’s ethnocide.
In the same post, a separate harassment operation using a command-detonated explosive device was launched on Wednesday night, April 20, less than 24 hours before the Tapaz incident by another NPA unit under the Nonito Aguirre Command of Eastern Front Panay against military troops.
Guerrero also took notice of the silence of the Philippine Army’s spokesperson Lt. Col. Rey Tiongson regarding the two separate incident./PT