Classes in South Cotabato village suspended due to Army-NPA clash

Local News • Wed Dec 6, 2017 06:49 AM  •  133   0
By Edwin O. Fernandez
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Soldier-medics attend to injured NPA encounter in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato who fled to Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. (Photo from 33rd IB)
Soldier-medics attend to injured NPA encounter in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato who fled to Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. (Photo from 33rd IB)
KORONADAL CITY  – Classes have been suspended in a remote village in South Cotabato following clashes between government forces and communist rebels that left two soldiers and seven rebels killed.  

Mario Madrero, South Cotabato assistant schools division superintendent, said classes had to be suspended to spare school children from harm.  

Fighting between elements of the 33rd and 27th Infantry Battalion few kilometers from Tuburan Elementary School and Pulong Subong Integrated School, both in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
  Madrero said the decision to suspend classes came from the village officials. 

“We will wait for military authorities’ advice when the teachers and children can resume classes,” he said.
 

Madrero said lucky enough the encounter erupted on Sunday and not during class hours.  

According to 2Lt. Ranjan Palacio, 27th IB spokesperson, the clashes erupted when soldiers were sent to the village Sunday afternoon after residents reported the presence of heavily armed New Peoples’ Army guerillas.
 

As the soldiers entered the remote sub-village on Sunday, they were fired upon by undetermined number of rebels belonging to Platoon Arabo Guerilla Front of 73 Far South Mindanao Region, triggering a two hour sporadic firefight.  

Killed on the government side were Private First Class (PFC) Jovanie P. Tagactac and PFC Max Jay Lord Fernando. Palacio said three other soldiers were hurt.  
Seven dead bodies of communist rebels were recovered by government forces and turned over to local officials.  

Palacio said government forces recovered one carbine, two homemade shot guns, one locally made 9mm machine pistol and assorted rebel paraphernalia.   Palacio said pursuit operations have been on going against the rebels who fled toward Sultan Kudarat-South Cotabato-Sarangani borders.  

Colonel Roberto Ancan, 1002nd brigade commander, said the Army will continue to hunt the insurgents in adherence to the rule of law.  

Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Leander, 27th IB commander, urged the rebels, including those wounded in the Lake Sebu clash, to lay down their arms and avail of government services.
 

"For those wounded terrorists and for some others who are still hiding right now, it is high time for you to peacefully surrender to the folds of law and avail the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the local government," Leander said in a statement. 
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